Dividend Policy at Linear Technology
In 1992, Linear Technology, a designer and manufacturer of analog semiconductors, initiated a dividend. The firm increased its dividend by approximately $0.01 per share each year thereafter. In fiscal year 2002, Linear experienced its first significant drop in sales since its 1986 initial public offering. Sales dropped by 47%, and profits fell by 54%. In the spring of 2003, CFO Paul Coghlan is deciding whether to recommend yet another increase in dividends to lift Linear's payout ratio to 33.1%, high by the standards of technology firms.