Shares of Southwest Airlines are lower by 1.12% to $41.78 in early afternoon trading on Wednesday.
The company's quarterly dividend will increase to 75 cents per share from 6 cents per share, starting with the 155th consecutive quarterly dividend declared today to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 3.
The dividend will be paid on June 24.
As part of the new $1.5 billion share repurchase program, Southwest intends to repurchase an initial $300 million of its common stock under an accelerated repurchase program.
"Dedicated to returning value to our shareholders, we returned substantially all of our free cash flow to shareholders in 2014 through $1.1 billion in share repurchases and dividend payments. In recognition of our strong financial position, performance, and cash flow outlook, the board's actions today further reinforce our commitment to create value for our shareholders," company CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates SOUTHWEST AIRLINES as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate SOUTHWEST AIRLINES (LUV) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."