The board of directors of Cummins Inc. last week declared a quarterly common stock cash dividend of 18 cents per share, payable June 1, to shareholders of record on May 18. The dividend has been adjusted to reflect the company’s 2-for-1 stock split that took effect April 9.

Also last week, Cummins’ chairman and CEO Tim Solso told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting that Cummins is poised to build off its record 2006 with strong financial performance again in 2007 and beyond.

According to Solso, Cummins enjoyed its most profitable year ever last year when it reported net earnings of $715 million on $11.4 billion in sales. Solso also noted that the company’s profit as a percentage of sales for the three-year period between 2004 and 2006 was the best in 40 years.

“I am pleased to say that Cummins is in the strongest position we have enjoyed in my 36 years with the company, and we’re well-positioned to grow significantly in the next several years,” Solso said. “Our challenge is to remain focused on our growth strategy so that we can take full advantage of the opportunities ahead of us.”

The company also announced that its shareholders re-elected all nine Cummins directors for another year and ratified the selection of PriceWaterhouse Coopers llc as the company’s external auditing firm. Shareholders also approved a minor change in the company’s stock incentive plan and voted to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock following Cummins’ two-for-one stock split on April 9.

Solso spoke of the company’s efforts to build on its five strategic principles — increasing the synergies among its complementary lines of business; being a low-cost producer; creating shareholder value; ensuring profitable growth and creating the right environment for employees — emphasizing the significant number of growth opportunities available to Cummins over the next few years.

For example, the company will be entering the light-duty diesel engine market in the United States and China, and is positioned to be producing as many as 1.3 million engines a year worldwide by 2012, compared to 850,000 today. The growth into new engine markets comes even as the company’s share is increasing in several of its engine markets, including heavy- and medium-duty truck, construction and oil and gas.

Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.