The exhibition chain’s board says it will pay 25 cents per share each quarter, up from 21 cents. The increase follows the Mexican Federal Competition Commission’s decision last week to reject Cinemark‘s $125M deal to sell its 31 theaters in the country to Groupo Cinemex. Cinemark says it will appeal the ruling. The chain has been making big investments in its Latin American theaters to replace traditional projectors with digital ones. “If Cinemark can raise the dividend now, we see potential for more hikes next year and beyond when this [capital expenditure] bulge rolls off,” says Lazard Capital Markets’ Barton Crockett. With the increase, Cinemark’s dividend yield rises to 3.2% from 2.9% but is still behind Regal’s 4.4%. Last week Cinemark reported record admission revenues in Q2, a strong quarter for the entire industry. Its shares are off about 1% in early trading on a down day for the stock markets.

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