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Hancock Fabrics increases cash dividend

With cash flow and earnings both gaining strength, Hancock Fabrics Inc., a fabric chain headquartered in Tupelo, MS, has increased its quarterly cash dividend by 60 percent, to 4 cents a share from the previous rate of 2.5 cents a share.

Larry Kirk, ceo, said, "During 2000, Hancock Fabric's operating cash flow was sufficient to reduce debt by $15 million, repurchase treasury stock totaling $5.5 million, make capital expenditures of $4 million to upgrade our store base and pay cash dividends of $1.8 million. Given the company's strong financial position and the increased earnings and cash flow in the recently completed year, our board of directors felt that the higher cash dividend is an appropriate and prudent element in enhancing shareholder value."

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