RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Marlboro maker Altria Group is raising its quarterly dividend by 7.3 percent to 44 cents per share from 41 cents per share.

The owner of the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, said Friday that the dividend will be paid on Oct. 10 to shareholders of record on Sept. 14.

Last month Altria Group Inc. reported that its net income nearly tripled in the second-quarter as higher prices helped offset flat cigarette volumes compared with a year ago when its results were depressed by a big charge.

The Richmond, Va., company's stock added 23 cents to $33.68 in midday trading.