HOUSTON, April 29 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp on Wednesday raised its quarterly payout 6 percent, a move that underscores the world's largest publicly traded oil company's commitment to raising dividends, although at a slower pace in a time of lower crude oil prices.
The Irving, Texas based oil company said its board had approved a second-quarter dividend of 73 cents per share, up from the first-quarter payout of 69 cents a share. Exxon's annual payout grew nearly 10 percent in 2014.
In recent months oil companies have been looking at all means of conserving cash, including cutting capital spending, as crude oil prices fell by more than half from a June high of more than $100 a barrel.
Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson told analysts in March that the company's "first layer of cash goes to the shareholder through the dividend," and said Exxon was committed to growing the payout.
In February Exxon said it plans to slash its share buyback program in the first quarter by more than half to $1 billion. It also cut its spending by about 12 percent this year.
Shares of Exxon, which is due to report first-quarter earnings on Thursday, rose 3 cents to $87.83 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange Trading.
(Reporting by Anna Driver; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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