PPL Corporation (PPL), a US based energy and utility company, has increased a quarterly common stock dividend from $0.335 to $0.345 per share, or from $1.34 to $1.38 per share on an annualized basis. The increased dividend is payable on April 1, 2009, to the shareholders of record as of March 10, 2009.

This is the 253rd consecutive quarterly dividend and the seventh consecutive year that PPL has increased the dividend. Based on the company’s closing stock price Thursday of $28.43 per share, Friday’s dividend increase would improve the current yield on PPL common stock to 4.9%.

Paul Farr, PPL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the new annualized dividend rate of $1.38 per share will bring the 2009 payout ratio to 79%. The ratio is based on the $1.75 per share midpoint of the company’s 2009 earnings forecast of $1.60 to $1.90 per share. PPL reiterated its earnings guidance for 2010 of $3.60 to $4.20 per share on its quarterly earnings conference call on February 4, 2009.

“This dividend action is in consideration of the significant increase in PPL’s 2010 earnings forecast compared with 2009,” Farr said.

Farr said the increase in the dividend rate shows that PPL remains focused on dividend growth as an important component of total shareowner return, especially in difficult financial times. All future dividend decisions, Farr noted, are subject to the board of directors’ quarterly dividend declarations based on the company’s financial position and other relevant considerations at the time.

Each depositary share represents a ¼ interest in a share of the preference stock. Accordingly, holders of record of the depositary shares will receive a dividend equal to ¼ of the dividend paid on the preference stock.