General Dynamics sees consistent dividends, more share buybacks

WASHINGTON, April 24 Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:35am EDT

WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - General Dynamics Corp Chief Executive Phebe Novakovic said investors could expect consistency in dividend payments and more "shareholder-friendly" share buybacks in 2013.

Novakovic said General Dynamics had increased its quarterly dividend payment by 10 percent to 56 cents a share in March, a trend she called "important."

"With respect to dividends what you need to expect from us is consistency, predictability, and sustainability," she said, adding that General Dynamics also planned to act "in shareholder-friendly ways with respect to shareholder repurchases."

General Dynamics repurchased 1 million shares in the first quarter.

Novakovic said the company also needed to strengthen its balance sheet "a touch" after charges in the fourth quarter, with no acquisitions on the near-term horizon.