Covidien (UNKNOWN:COV.DL) has declared its first quarterly dividend, and launched a fresh share repurchase program. The company will distribute $0.26 per share of its stock on May 3 to shareholders of record as of April 4. That amount matches the company's last two disbursements. Prior to that, Covidien paid $0.225 per share.

The current dividend annualizes to $1.04 per share. That yields 1.6% at the firm's most recent closing stock price of $66.28.

Covidien also announced a new stock buyback program. Its board of directors authorized the purchase of up to $3 billion worth of stock. It did not say when the program would end. This authorization adds to the previous repurchase program, which has roughly $425 million remaining on the original $2 billion authorized in mid-2011.