IBM (NYSE:IBM) is extending its tradition of sharing its gains with stockholders. The company's board of directors has declared a fresh quarterly dividend on its common stock of $1.63 per share, to be handed out on Dec. 10 to investors of record as of Nov. 10.
The company didn't hesitate to point out that it has paid quarterly dividends for over 100 years; it started doing so in 1916.
Over the past few decades, it has also consistently raised them on an annual basis. Earlier this year, by doing so, IBM made it onto the list of Dividend Aristocrats, the very small group of S&P 500 index companies that have increased their payouts at least once per year for a minimum of 25 years running.
These increases have collectively been substantial. Since the beginning of 2010, IBM's dividend has nearly tripled, from $0.55 per share to the present level, which now yields 6.1%.
The dividend declaration comes shortly after the company's release of its third-quarter results. While overall revenue and profitability were down on a year-over-year basis, total revenue for cloud services -- a hot area throughout the IT world -- rose by 19%. Its free cash flow was more than sufficient to cover its dividend disbursements, although it was down by over $1 billion.
The dividend announcement is the latest piece of news in what has been an eventful October for IBM. In mid-month, the company revealed that it will split into two separate, publicly traded companies next year.
IBM's shares essentially traded in concert with the broader stock market on Wednesday, declining by 3.5%.