Exelon Corp., the parent of Philadelphia's Peco Energy, today announced a 13.6-percent dividend increase and a new share repurchase program.

The new quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share, up from 44 cents, will be paid March 10 to shareholders on Feb. 15.

The increase was attributed by the company to "improved market fundamentals and our superior operations." For the third quarter this year, Exelon posted a profit of $780 million compared with a $44-million loss in last year's third quarter.

"The company expects to grow the dividend modestly over time," Exelon also said in today's announcement.

The stock buyback will be for up to $500 million and is in addition to a $1.25-billion repurchase in September.

The Chicago energy's company's shares were down 65 cents at $84.90 in early-afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading.