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Pfizer Boosts Dividend, Expands Buyback (Update 1)

Updated from 12:41 p.m. ET to include information about new board chairman and closing stock price.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) is looking to return some cash to shareholders.

The Dow component said Monday its board has approved a 10% increase in its quarterly dividend to 22 cents a share from the current payout of 20 cents, along with an additional $10 billion buyback authorization.

Pfizer also made some news after the close, naming Ian Read, its current president and chief executive officer, to the added role of chairman. Read succeeds George Lorch.

"While the dividend level remains a decision of the board, we continue to target a dividend payout ratio of approximately 40 percent by the end of 2013," Read said in a statement. "In addition, we currently expect to repurchase approximately $5 billion of our common stock in 2012, with the remaining authorized amount available in 2013 and beyond."

The higher dividend is to be paid on March 6 to shareholders of record on Feb. 3. The 22-cent quarterly payout equates to an annual dividend of 88 cents, which implies a forward yield of 4.3% at the current share levels.

The pharmaceutical company lost exclusivity of its most successful, cholesterol-fighting drug, Lipitor, on Nov. 30.

Pfizer's stock closed at $20.39 on Monday, down 17 cents.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.



>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian

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