COLUMBUS, Ohio – Bob Evans Farms Inc.’s board of directors has approved an 11.1% increase in the quarterly cash dividend from 18 cents ($0.18) per share to 20 cents ($0.20) per share on the company's outstanding common stock. The increased dividend is payable on Sept. 21 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 7.

Steve Davis, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company's recent debt pay down, dividend increase and share repurchases are indicative of its efforts to utilize its strong balance sheet to build stockholder value.

"Increasing our dividend at the same time that we are repurchasing shares demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our stockholders," Davis said.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2011, the company repurchased 170,000 shares for a total of $4.4 million and reduced its total debt by $8.9 million. The company's board of directors has authorized share repurchases of up to $25 million for fiscal 2011, which ends April 29, 2011.