Wesfarmers share price pops 5% to new high after dividend hike

Investors are loving what they saw from Wesfarmers this morning.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is enjoying a big rebound today after yesterday's savage sell-off. At the time of writing, the ASX 200 has lifted by 0.84%, pulling it back over 7,600 points. But let's talk about the Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) share price.

This ASX 200 industrial and retail conglomerate is having a stellar day today. While the ASX 200 has gained 0.84%, the Wesfarmers share price is currently up a happy 5.11% to $61.95. That's after the company hit a new 52-week high of $62.11 just before midday.

So it's been a wonderful day to own Wesfarmers shares. But this enthusiastic share price pop has a catalyst.

This morning, we covered Wesfarmers' latest earnings report, which seems to be the driving force behind today's gains.

Wesfarmers' earnings push share price to new 52-week high

As my Fool colleague went through at the time, Wesfarmers had a fairly positive report card to show investors for the six months to 31 December 2023.

The company reported a 0.5% rise in revenues to $22.67 billion. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) got a 1.6% bump up to $2.2 billion, while net profits after tax (NPAT) shot up 3% to $1.43 billion.

This enabled Wesfarmers to hike its interim dividend by 3.4% to a fully franked 91 cents per share, compared to last year's equivalent payout of 88 cents per share.

Wesfarmers was clearly pleased with what it had to tell investors today and also flagged that FY2024 was going well for the company thus far. Management told investors that sales at Bunnings and OfficeWorks over the first five weeks of 2024 were in line with the prior year, but Kmart "has continued to deliver strong sales growth".

It seems investors are fairly delighted with what they've seen today.

This Thursday's gains for the Wesfarmers share price puts the company up 7.7% in 2024 to date, as well as by a pleasing 25.4% over the past 12 months.

With this latest dividend announcement, Wesfarmers shares now have a forward dividend yield of 3.13%. That's against a trailing yield of 3.08%.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has positions in Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Wesfarmers. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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