Medical device and branded generics maker Abbott (NYSE: ABT ) announced today its third-quarter dividend of $0.14 per share, the same rate it's paid for the past two quarters. Before that, the payout had been $0.51 per share, but on January 1 Abbott spun off to investors its research-based pharmaceuticals business into a new company, AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV ) .
The board of directors said the quarterly dividend is payable on August 15 to holders of record at the close of business on July 15. The payout marks the 358th consecutive quarterly dividend Abbott has paid since 1924..
The board also announced it had approved the repurchase of up to $3 billion of the company's stock, which replaces the recently completed previous $5 billion program that was announced in October 2008. Since 2002, Abbott has delivered $31 billion in cash to its shareholders through dividends and share buybacks and has increased its dividend payout for 41 consecutive years.
The regular dividend payment equates to a $0.56-per-share annual dividend, yielding 1.5% based on the closing price of Abbott's stock today.