What happened

Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE:BKS) were up 9.9% as of 3:00 p.m. EDT Thursday after the book retailer confirmed its quarterly dividend and announced a new stock repurchase program.

So what

More specifically, Barnes & Noble's board has opted to hold steady its quarterly cash dividend at $0.15 per share, payable on April 28, 2017, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 7, 2017. Based on today's prices, that payout equates to a juicy annual yield of 6.4%. In addition, Barnes & Noble approved a new stock repurchase program of up to $50 million, representing nearly 12% of the company's total float.

Barnes & Noble store


Now what

Even after today's pop, keep in mind that shares of Barnes & Noble are still down more than 10% over the past month as the market lamented its painful quarterly report two weeks ago. At the time, Barnes & Noble detailed falling traffic and profitability, even as its EBITDA losses from the struggling NOOK segment continued to narrow. To blame, according to Chairman and CEO Len Riggio, were headwinds related to the recent U.S. presidential election and inauguration. And though Barnes & Noble initially enjoyed improvement in its sales following the holiday season, it noted that retail trends had softened into the current quarter.

That said, investors are taking this dividend and new share repurchase program as a vote of confidence that Barnes & Noble's sales may have picked up once again. So while I'm personally content continuing to watch its progress from the sidelines, it's no surprise to see Barnes & Noble stock rebounding today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.