$80M annual payout expected.

Warner Music Group on Thursday (Dec. 30) said it will begin to pay out a quarterly dividend of 13 cents per share or about $19.3 million.

The dividend, plans for which were announced in October, is payable Feb. 17, 2006, to stockholders of record as of the close of business Jan. 18. The company expects to pay out no more than $80 million each year.

WMG said its board of directors will evaluate the dividend condition each quarter based on its financial status.

The music major went public earlier this year when it raised $554.2 million in an initial public offering. The May 11 flotation achieved 20% less than its initial target.

WMG this week settled its contract feud with popular rock act Linkin Park. Under that reported deal, Linkin Park is understood to have agreed to a five-album, $15 million pact with Warner Bros. Records, reversing an earlier demand for release from its existing deal. Warner Bros. is reported to be paying the band an estimated 20% royalty rate.