General Motors declares preferred stock dividend

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors will pay a quarterly dividend of about 64.7 cents a share on its Series B convertible preferred stock, the company said Wednesday.

GM's board approved the dividend for part of last year's fourth quarter and this year's first quarter. It is payable March 1 to holders of the stock as of Feb. 15.

The quarterly dividend payment totals about $64.7 billion, GM said in a statement.

GM sold 100 million Series B junior convertible shares as part of a November initial public stock offering. The shares sold for $50 each and netted the company roughly $5 billion. The convertible shares become shares of common stock on Dec. 1, 2013, unless they're converted before that date. They carry a 4.75 percent dividend rate.

Detroit-based GM sought bankruptcy protection in 2009 and accepted nearly $50 billion in government help. But the company has since made an impressive recovery with global sales growing 12 percent last year. GM turned a $4.2 billion profit in the first nine months of the year. Financial results for the final three months of 2010 aren't in yet, but more profit is expected.

GM's owners, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Canadian and Ontario governments and a union health care trust fund, sold common stock in the November IPO. The U.S. government got $13.5 billion from the sale and will have to sell its remaining shares for $53 each to break even on its aid to GM.

GM said it would use money from the preferred stock sale to pay down debt and make payments to its underfunded pension plans.

The company's common shares fell 50 cents to $37.90 in afternoon trading.

Published: Fri, Jan 28, 2011