Walt Disney Co. will boost its annual dividend by 15 percent to 31 cents a share, the biggest jump in eight years.

The increase will be paid Jan. 12 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 15, the Burbank media company announced late Tuesday. This latest hike is Disney's third straight year of dividend hikes.

This news comes after Disney reported a solid fourth quarter earlier this month that saw profit more than double and revenue jump more than 14 percent. The company also agreed a few weeks ago to sell its stake in E! Entertainment Television to Comcast Corp., generating $1.2 billion in cash.

Shares of Disney rose 30 cents to $32.89 Tuesday and were flat in early trading Wednesday. Disney's shares have gained nearly 40 percent for the year.

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