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J.B. Hunt Transport raises dividend

Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. is raising its dividend for shareholders by 33% to 20 cents per share.

The increased dividend payment will be made Feb. 27 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 13. The previous dividend was 15 cents.

The board “concluded the consistent earnings and cash-flow growth generated in recent years warranted a higher dividend,” according to the release. “This larger-than-historical increase represents a commitment to returning capital to shareholders on a consistent basis at a more reasonable yield relative to JBHT’s share price.”

In 2013, the company improved net income 10% to $342.4 million, which was the third highest in the industry after UPS Inc. and FedEx Corp.

Shares of J.B.Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) traded down 1.65% on Monday morning (Feb. 3) at $73.81. For the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged from a $79.89 high to a $65.53 low.

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Johnelle Hunt, co-founder of the company is the largest individual shareholder controlling more than 18.452 million shares registered to J.B. Hunt LLC as of Nov. 5.

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