* Company increases dividend 8.6 pct to $0.38 per share
* Also raised dividend 2.9 pct in February
* Altria shares down at $22.50
CHICAGO, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Cigarette maker Altria Group Inc (MO.N) increased its quarterly payout to shareholders for the second time this year, the company said on Friday.
Altria, which makes Marlboro cigarettes, raised its dividend 8.6 percent to 38 cents per share from 35 cents, bringing its annualized dividend to $1.52 per share.
Altria previously raised its dividend 1 cent to 35 cents in February.
The tobacco company posted a better-than-expected first half of fiscal 2010 and raised its full-year earnings forecast in July. [ID:N22218879]
Altria’s shares were down 0.5 percent Friday morning at $22.50. (Reporting by Emily Stephenson, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)