Microsoft Announces Share Buyback Plan, Boosts Dividend Payment

Microsoft Corp., (NASDAQ:MSFT) the world’s largest software maker, has announced that it will repurchase as much as $40 billion U.S. of and boost its quarterly dividend by five cents to 51 cents U.S. a share.

The repurchase authorization has no expiration date, and may be terminated at any time, according to the Redmond, Washington-based company. Microsoft’s stock has risen 36% so far this year and its market capitalization remains at more than $1 trillion U.S. Its last buyback plan, unveiled in September 2016, was also for $40 billion U.S.

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 U.S. 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 U.S. in cash and short-term investments as of June 30 this year.

Under Chief Executive Officer 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 expiration of older ones.