It’s a good morning to be a Microsoft shareholder.
The software giant announced before trading began that it will increase its quarterly dividend to shareholders by 5 cents to reach 28 cents per share. It’s also launching a new $40 billion stock buyback program, which replaces an existing $40 billion buyback program that is set to expire at the end of this month.
“These actions reflect a continued commitment to returning cash to our shareholders,” Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood said in a statement this morning.
Last month, Microsoft’s shareholders responded positively to the news that CEO Steve Ballmer was retiring. We can expect a similar response to these latest announcements: Shareholders certainly won’t say no to receiving more cash from Microsoft, and with Microsoft promising to buy up more of its own stock, its stock value will continue to rise as well (even though it’s primarily an artificial boost).