Mobile chip giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) announced this morning that it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 40% to $0.35 per share, up from the previous level of $0.25 per share per quarter. The increase is effective for the next quarterly dividend that will be paid on March 27, and will bring the company's annual dividend payout to $1.40 per share.
In addition, Qualcomm is instituting a new repurchase program to replace the previous one. Under the new program, which is effective immediately, Qualcomm can repurchase up to $5 billion in stock. This replaces the prior buyback program, which was for $4 billion and had $2.5 billion of repurchasing authorization remaining. The new repurchase program has no expiration date.
CEO Paul Jacobs said the business continues to generate strong operating cash flows and that Qualcomm has returned a total of $19.9 billion to shareholders since 2003 in the form of dividends and buybacks.