Chip-equipment maker Applied Materials ( AMAT) boosted its quarterly cash dividend, and the company's board authorized a new share repurchase plan covering up to $5 billion of its common stock. The company said it will pay a dividend of 5 cents a share on June 8 to stockholders of record as of May 18. Applied previously paid a 3-cent dividend. As for the buyback, the program will allow the company to repurchase its stock during the next three years. "These increases in the cash dividend and stock buyback program reflect our confidence in both the near- and long-term prospects for Applied Materials," Mike Splinter, president and chief executive, said in a statement Wednesday. "We are committed to returning value to stockholders in various ways, including through our growth strategy, operational excellence and ability to generate and manage strong cash flow." During fiscal 2005 and through the first quarter of fiscal 2006, Applied repurchased around 128 million shares at an average price of $17.22 a share, for a total of roughly $2.2 billion. With the adoption of the new stock repurchase program, the board terminated the $4 billion plan authorized in March 2005. Applied's shares were recently tacking on 3 cents to $17.54.