Cayce-based utility owner SCANA Corp. said today it is raising the dividend it pays on its widely held common stock. The parent company of S.C. Electric & Gas said it’s boosting the quarterly payout by a penny, or 2 percent, to 49.5 cents a share. The new rate is payable April 1 to shareholders of record on March 9.

The increase bumps the company’s annual dividend yield to about 4.3 percent. That’s based on SCANA’s $45.50 stock price this afternoon.

“Today’s increase in the quarterly dividend demonstrates the confidence we have in our growth strategy, financial strength, and long term outlook,” said Jimmy Addison, chief financial officer.