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Flowers Foods approves stock split, hikes dividend

NEW YORK (AP) -- Flowers Foods on Wednesday approved a three-for-two stock split and hiked its dividend.

After the split, shareholders of the maker of Tastykake will own three shares for every two shares they held. The dividend will be 11.25 cents per share on a quarterly basis or 45 cents per share on an annualized basis. The company said that equated to a 5.5 percent increase over its previous rate.

Both the stock split and dividend are payable on June 19 to shareholders of record June 5.

Based in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods Inc. also makes breads including Nature's Own. The company is seeking to buy several bread labels from Hostess Brands, including its famous Wonder bread. The deal was approved by a bankruptcy court but is still under regulatory review.

Shares of Flowers Foods rose $1.38, or 4.2 percent, to $34.58 in midday trading.