IBM Boosts Buyback, Dividend as Sales Flatten

ARMONK, N.Y. (TheStreet) --IBM (IBM) is in a giving mood, as the company announced it will be returning even more cash to shareholders in the form of a bigger dividend and buyback.

The New York-based technology software and services company, which reported disappointing first-quarter earnings last week, said it will raise its quarterly dividend to 85 cents per share, a 13% increase. IBM beat earnings estimates but sales were flat.

IBM's board of directors also said it will buy back an additional $7 billion in stock. The company has $5.7 billion remaining in a previous program, bringing the total to $12.7 billion. IBM said it expects to request yet another share-repurchase authorization at its October board meeting.

IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty said the company has returned $137 billion to shareholders since 2000.

Shares of IBM are higher in early Tuesday trading, up 1.1% to $200.73.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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