Allete's board of directors has increased the quarterly dividend on the company's common stock to 47.5 cents per share.

This is the third year in a row the dividend has increased.

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"This increase reflects our confidence in Allete's near-term financial performance and long-term earnings outlook, and our ongoing commitment to building value for shareholders," Allete Chairman, President and CEO Al Hodnik said in a news release. "Allete's Board of Directors recognizes the importance of dividends as part of total shareholder return. We expect to continue paying an attractive dividend as we execute our long-term growth strategy."

The 3.3 percent increase results in the equivalent of a $1.90 per share annualized dividend. The quarterly dividend is payable March 1 to common shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 15.

In January 2012 the company raised its dividend to 46 cents per share from 44.5 cents. The company had raised the dividend from 44 cents per share to the 44.5 cents in January 2011. Before that, the company paid the 44-cent dividend for eight quarters, up from the 43 cents per share it paid in late 2008.

Allete is the parent company of Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light & Power. Its headquarters is in Duluth.