Target Corp. took a rare step on Thursday to reward shareholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The discount retailer raised its quarterly dividend by 3 percent, from 64 to 66 cents per share. The increase has the Minneapolis-based retailer on track to deliver a dividend hike for a 49th straight year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %TGTTARGET CORP.119.78-0.23-0.19%

With the increase, Target became part of a small group of companies, including Apple, Costco and Johnson & Johnson, that have increased their payout to shareholders since the outbreak began.

A number of others, including Boeing, Delta Air Lines, Ford and Macy’s have either reduced or eliminated their dividends in an effort to preserve cash as stay-at-home orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 ground business to a near standstill.

Target last month reported its first-quarter profit fell 64 percent from a year ago to $284 million as total revenue jumped to $19.37 billion amid a 141 percent spike in online sales. Comparable sales were up 11 percent as customers made fewer, bigger trips.

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Target shares fell 6.4 percent this year through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.26 percent.

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https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/target-hikes-quarterly-dividend-coronavirus

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