late Monday said its board of directors authorized a new $7 billion, two-year share-repurchase program.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based maker of Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard and Thinsulate brands said the repurchase authorization, which it calls the largest in its history, is for the period between Feb. 12, 2007, and Feb. 28, 2009.
Additionally, the company declared a quarterly dividend of 48 cents a share, up 4.3% from the quarterly dividend paid in 2006.
3M CEO George Buckley said that although the company's "first priority remains investing for growth, returning cash to our shareholders remains an integral part of our strategy."
The dividend is payable to shareholders of record as of Feb. 23, 2007, on March 12, 2007.
As of Dec. 31, 3M listed roughly 734.4 million shares outstanding.
Shares of 3M recently rose 71 cents to $75.30 after hours; they closed the regular session up a nickel to $74.59.