Intel raising dividend in ‘best year ever’

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Intel, the big chip maker, said Friday that it would raise its dividend by 15 percent and reaffirmed that it is headed for its best year.

The move provides a counterpoint to the weak quarterly sales forecast from network gear maker Cisco Systems this week, which has weighed on stocks as a negative sign for the economy.

In a statement Friday, Paul Otellini, Intel’s chief executive, said the company “remains on track to have our best year ever.”

The company is raising its quarterly payout for investors to 18 cents per share from 15.75 cents starting with the first quarter of 2011.

Its stock is up 26 cents, or about 1 percent, to $21.47 ahead of regular trading.