Eastman declares 30¢ per share quarterly dividend

Hank Hayes • May 3, 2013 at 6:48 AM

KINGSPORT — Eastman Chemical Co.’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per share on the company’s common stock following its annual stockholders meeting Thursday.

The dividend is payable July 1, 2013, to stockholders of record as of June 14, 2013. The Board of Directors also approved the repurchase of up to an additional $300 million of Eastman common stock.

“Both of these actions taken by our Board of Directors are a demonstration of our continued commitment to return value to stockholders,” Curt Espeland, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said in a prepared release. “They are also a reflection of the company’s strong financial position and confidence in Eastman’s ability to deliver consistent, superior value.”

The new stock repurchase authorization is in addition to the remaining amount under the $300 million of stock repurchases authorized by the board in February 2011.

Eastman officials said share repurchases will be funded with available cash and implemented through purchases made from time to time in either the open market or private transactions. The timing, volume, and nature of share repurchases will be at the discretion of management, depending on market conditions, applicable securities laws, and other factors, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time. Eastman may also implement all or part of the repurchases under one or more Rule 10b5-1 trading plans, which would allow repurchases under pre-set terms at times when Eastman might otherwise be prevented from doing so under insider trading laws or because of self-imposed trading restrictions.

The Eastman board also named independent director Stephen R. Demeritt to serve as lead director. Demeritt has been an Eastman director since 2003. Demeritt served as vice chairman of the Board of Directors of General Mills Inc. from 1999 until his retirement in 2005. He joined General Mills in 1969 and served in various senior marketing positions, including president, International Foods; and chief executive officer, Cereal Partners Worldwide.

“I have every confidence that Steve will do an exemplary job in this new role and that we will continue to benefit from his expertise in corporate management and experience serving in leadership positions on corporate boards,” said director Howard L. Lance, chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Eastman Board of Directors.

Demeritt succeeds director Gary E. Anderson as lead director, a position Anderson held since January 2011.

“Eastman has benefited greatly from Gary’s leadership over the past two years,” said Lance. “He is a valued member of our board, and we are grateful for his many contributions.”

During the annual meeting, stockholders also re-elected directors Gary E. Anderson, Brett D. Begemann, Robert M. Hernandez, Julie F. Holder, Renée J. Hornbaker, Lewis M. Kling and David W. Raisbeck to one-year terms.

Stockholders also approved, on an advisory basis, the compensation of the company’s executive officers as disclosed in the annual meeting proxy statement located at www.investors.eastman.com.

They rejected an advisory stockholder proposal requesting the Board of Directors take steps necessary to permit stockholders to act by written consent without a meeting.

Eastman is a Kingsport-based global specialty chemical company with 2012 pro forma combined revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.1 billion. The company employs approximately 13,500 people around the world.

For more, go to www.eastman.com.

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