Boeing will pay a dividend of $2.055 per share, up 20% from the previous payout, and increased the size of its stock buyback program by $2 billion to $20 billion. Boeing said it purchased around $9 billion worth of shares under the previous plan, and expects buybacks to continue in January. Boeing said its dividend has increased by 325%, and share buybacks have hit 230 million, over the past six years.
"We think shareholders are likely to take a positive view towards this news, particularly on the aggressive dividend hike which underscores management's confidence in the business," Credit Suisse analysts wrote, noting the lighter-than-expected 2018 buyback "sets up a hefty Q1, particularly if recent weakness in shares continues."
Boeing shares gained 4.3% to $329.62 in midday trading on Tuesday.
Boeing beat Street forecasts and raised its profit and revenue guidance for the full year when it published third quarter earnings on October 24 and said its sees better-than-expected profit margins in its commercial aerospace business.
Total order backlog grew to $491 billion, Boeing said at the time, including more than 5,800 commercial airplanes valued at $413 billion. The backlog for the defense, space and security business unit was $58 billion, of which 31% represented orders from customers outside the U.S.
"Boeing continues to see significant opportunities in the markets we serve, and we have confidence in the power of our One Boeing strategy to execute and win on all fronts," said CEO Dennis Muilenburg. "Boeing's strong operational performance, financial health and positive future outlook underpin our continued investments in our people and our workplace, in innovative products and services, and in select strategic acquisitions and partnerships that accelerate our growth strategy."