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IBM Boosts Dividend

The company also ups its buyback program.
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upped its quarterly cash dividend by 50% on Tuesday to 30 cents a share.

The news helped lift IBM stock 18 cents, or 0.2%, to $82.29 in recent midday trading.

The cash is payable June 10 to stockholders of record May 10, 2006. The 30-cent dividend amounts to roughly $470 million per quarter, or $1.9 billion annually, IBM Treasurer Jesse Greene noted in a Q&A on the company's Web site.

"The dividend increase is a sign of our commitment to our long-term business model, which is to generate double-digit earnings per share growth and generate significant cash flow," Greene stated.

At the same time, IBM's board also approved $4 billion in additional funds for its stock repurchase program, an addition to the $2.5 billion remaining from a previous authorization to repurchase stock.

IBM shares have remained essentially flat since the beginning of the year.