Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK), the Kalamazoo medical device maker, announced this week that its board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of 18 cents a share.

The dividend  is payable April 29 to shareholders of record as of March 31.

The quarterly dividend is a 20 percent increase from the prior year. Stryker says the increase is part of its commitment to use its balance sheet and strong cash flow to maximize shareholder value.

The dividend increase, combined with the previously authorized $500 million share repurchase program, reflects Stryker’s multi-pronged cash deployment strategy, which also includes making the necessary investments that will drive continued sales and earnings growth.

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