Intel's (INTC) - Get Report board has approved a doubling of its quarterly cash dividend to 8 cents a share and authorized the buyback of an additional 500 million shares.

The new dividend will be payable on March 1, 2005, to stockholders of record on Feb. 7, 2005.

"Intel is committed to investing for growth and returning excess cash to our stockholders," said Intel CEO Craig R. Barrett in a press release. "While Intel's investment in R&D and capital has averaged about $9 billion over the past five years, we have also been returning billions of dollars to our stockholders each year in the form of dividends and stock buybacks."

Intel expects to pay about $1 billion in cash dividends during 2004 and roughly $2 billion in 2005.

From January through Nov. 9 of this year, Intel repurchased over 263 million shares at a cost of approximately $6.6 billion, up substantially from 2003. As of Nov. 9, about 150.6 million shares remained available for repurchase by the company under previous authorizations.

Shares of Intel were recently down 20 cents, or 0.9%, to $22.88.