Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, said it will repurchase as much as US$40-billion of shares in a new buyback programme and boosted its quarterly dividend by $0.05 to $0.51/share.
The repurchase authorisation has no expiry date, and may be terminated at any time, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said Wednesday in a statement. The company’s stock has risen 36% so far this year and its market capitalisation remains at more than $1-trillion. Its previous buyback plan, unveiled in September 2016, was also for $40-billion.
Flush with cash and an infrequent acquirer of large technology companies, Microsoft has been a massive buyer of its own shares since the early 2000s and generally has an active $40-billion buyback plan that gets replaced once expended. The company also introduced a dividend in 2003 and has boosted it steadily since then. The company had $133.8-billion in cash and short-term investments as of 30 June.
Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has seen its shares skyrocket and revenue growth return. The company is increasing cloud contracts for products like Office 365 and Azure, while its older and more profitable Windows business has found stability with customers moving to newer versions ahead of the expiry of older ones. — Reported by Dina Bass, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP