OAK BROOK, Ill. – McDonald’s declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.77 per share of common stock, which is a 10 percent increase over the company’s previous dividend and brings the fourth quarter dividend payout to roughly $770 million.

"McDonald's commitment to enhancing the customer experience — from our menu and operations to our value and convenience — continues to move us closer to becoming our customers' favorite place and way to eat and drink," said Don Thompson, McDonald's chief executive officer. "Our philosophy on the use of capital remains unchanged with our first priority being to reinvest in our business to drive sales and cash flow, while generating strong returns.

“After these investment opportunities, we expect to return all of our free cash flow to shareholders over the long-term through dividends and share repurchases," he added. "Today's dividend increase demonstrates our confidence in the long-term strength of our Brand and our commitment to enhancing shareholder value."

Thompson said the dividend increase brings the company’s expected cash return to shareholders to at least $5.5 billion through dividends and share repurchases. McDonald’s has increased its dividend annually since 1976.