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American States increases dividend to 40.5 cents

SAN DIMAS, Calif. (AP) -- American States Water Co. said Tuesday that its board approved an increase of 5 cents, or 14 percent, to its quarterly cash dividend, boosting it to 40.5 cents.

The dividend will be paid on Sept. 3 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 15.

At the same time, the board approved a two-for-one split of the company's common stock. Shareholders of record as of Aug. 15 will receive one additional share of common stock for each share they own.

The additional shares will also be paid on Sept. 3 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 15. As a result of the split, the total number of common shares outstanding will increase to about 38.6 million from about 19.3 million, the company said.

American States President and CEO Robert Sprowls said the dividend boost and stock split reflect the board's confidence in the company and its desire to have a payout ratio that is more in line with its competitors.

The increased Sept. 3 dividend will be applied to the company's stock prior to the stock split, American States said.

American States shares finished at $54.42 on Monday. They have traded in a range of $36.20 to $57.80.