IBM Boosts Dividend, Adds $5B Buyback

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- IBM ( IBM) just announced a huge cash return to shareholders, increasing its quarterly dividend by 12% and authorizing an additional $5 billion in share buybacks.

The tech giant announced the news at its annual stockholders meeting in Huntsville, Ala.

IBM, which recently missed earnings expectations for the first time in a while, announced it will raise its quarterly dividend by 10 cents to 95 cents per share. This is the 18th year in a row the Armonk, N.Y.-based firm has raised its quarterly dividend. The tech giant has now hiked its dividend by 600% since 2000. The dividend yield would be 1.9%, comfortably above the yield on a 10-year U.S. Treasury.

In addition to the increased dividend, IBM also announced it will add $5 billion to its buyback program. The hardware and software heavyweight currently has $6.2 billion left on an existing program, thus leaving it with $11.2 billion on its repurchase program. The company noted it expects to ask for more funds at its October 2013 board meeting.

Shares of IBM were slightly lower following the announcement, off 0.15% to $198.85.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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