Ottawa-based patent player Wi-LAN (TSX:WIN) will pay a dividend of $0.04 per share to shareholders who own the stock prior to tomorrow’s ex-dividend date.
The company’s annual payout, which now stands at $0.16, has been raised four times since it first declared a dividend, in June of 2009.
In March, 2010, Wi-LAN’s board voted to raise it from $.05 to $.10. It did so again in March of 2012, raising it to $.12. Then in September of 2012, it was raised to $.14 before finally arriving at the current payout by hiking its dividend another two cents earlier this month.
On March 6th, Wi-LAN announced its fiscal 2012 results. For the year, the company’s GAAP earnings came in at a loss of $14.5-million on revenues of $88-million, down from the $105.8-million topline the company posted in 2011.
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Industrial Alliance Securities analyst Al Nagaraj, in a research update to clients following the results, said the absence of upfront fees from major licensing deals meant 2012 was a transition year for Wi-LAN. But Nagaraj says 2013 is shaping up to be a better year, noting that the Ottawa-based company has various legal actions pending against major companies such as Apple, HTC, Ericsson, HP, Dell, Sierra Wireless, BlackBerry and Toshiba. He says Wi-LAN has important patents covering WiFi, CDMA and digital TV technologies and he expects this will translate into success in the courtroom. Nagaraj currently has a BUY rating and $7.70 target on Wi-LAN.
One man who will be eligible for the dividend is Wi-LAN CEO Jim Skippen, who has made a series of insider purchases over the past several months.
At press time, shares of Wi-LAN on the TSX were down 1.7% to $4.55.