L-3 Communications [LLL] on Tuesday said its board of directors has increased its quarterly dividend, marking the 12th consecutive year of annual dividend hikes.

The dividend was increased by 8 percent to 70 cents per share payable on March 15.

L-3 Chairman and CEO Michael Strianese. Photo: L-3
L-3 Chairman and CEO Michael Strianese. Photo: L-3

L-3 reported $829 million in free cash flow in 2015 and estimates it will generate $825 million this year.

On L-3’s fourth quarter earnings call in late January, Ralph D’Ambrosio, L-3’s chief financial officer, said the company expects to repurchase $750 million of its shares this year and pay cash dividends a little more than $200 million. L-3 also expects to repay $300 million of debt in 2016.

The company remains active in mergers and acquisitions. On the earnings call Michael Strianese, L-3’s chairman and CEO, said L-3 continues to pursue businesses with “strong margins and high growth rates.”

Strianese disclosed a small acquisition in January of Advanced Technical Materials (ATM) for $27 million. ATM is a microwave RF components manufacturer

M&A: acquired a small microwave components business in January for $27M.