IBM plans to buy back $8 billion more of its shares and boost its dividend 15 percent, bullish moves by the tech giant.
The dividend will increase 10 cents a share to 75 cents, and marks the 16th straight year IBM is raising the payout. That move and the stock repurchase plan signal to Wall Street that IBM is confident its long-term prospects allow it to return more of its cash to investors.
The latest $8 billion stock buyback is in addition to approximately $4.7 billion remaining at the end of March from a prior stock repurchase authorization.
The company has spent $107 billion over the past decade on dividends and stock buybacks, CEO Sam Palmisano said today at the company's annual shareholder meeting, held this year in St. Louis.
New York-based IBM employs about 10,000 people at its Research Triangle Park campus, and its stock is owned by many employees and retirees in this region. It's also one of the world's most widely held stocks.
IBM shares rose as high as $169.20 today, the highest intraday price in history, Bloomberg News reported. The shares traded at $168.11, up 44 cents, this afternoon.
IBM's goal is to spend about $20 billion on dividends and $50 billion on buybacks through 2015. Palmisano also has said he expects to use about $20 billion on acquisitions through 2015.
He also set a goal of $20 per share in operating earnings by 2015. This year's earnings are expected to be at least $13.15 a share.
The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.