On Tuesday, International Business Machines (IBM) boosted its dividend by 50 percent in a move meant to add positive momentum to Big Blue’s recently static stock price, the Associated Press reports via Yahoo News.
The increase was announced in Tulsa, Okla., at IBM’s annual shareholders meeting, where hundreds of investors gathered to listen to IBM CEO Sam Palmisano discuss his plans for the coming year, according to the AP.
Prior to the boost, the company’s quarterly dividend was 20 cents per share, or roughly 1 percent annual yield, based on its recent $80 stock price, the AP reports. The new 30-cent-per-share dividend will take effect this quarter and will continue through 2006, according to the AP.
Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM expects the modification to lead to an additional $1.9 billion for its stockholders, the AP reports.
The company’s board of directors also OK’d the buyback of $4 billion worth of shares, which when added to the $2.5 million already set aside for such purposes, gives the company $6.5 million to work with, according to the AP.
Since 2002, Big Blue has dished out about $24 million buying back its stocks, the AP reports.
In 2006, IBM’s stocks have remained flat after dropping 17 percent the previous year, regardless of the profits it has posted, including $8 billion in 2005, according to the AP.
Hewlett Packard is expected to soon overtake IBM as the world’s leading provider of information technology-related equipment, the AP reports.
IBM’s shares were down 20 cents in early-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, at $81.82, according to the AP.
For related news coverage, read IBM to Offer Chip-Based Encryption for PCs, PDAs.
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