Genetically modified seed giant Monsanto (NYSE:MON) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.375 per share, the same rate it's paid the past three quarters after it raised the payout 25% from $0.30 per share.

The board of directors said the quarterly dividend is payable on July 26 to the holders of record at the close of business on July 5. The seed company has made a quarterly payout to investors since 2000.

At the same time as it announced the dividend, Monsanto also said it was authorizing a new share repurchase program, beginning July 1, to buy back up to $2 billion of the company's stock over a three-year period. The program will begin as soon as its current $1 billion plan, which was begun in July 2012, is completed.

Monsanto CFO Pierre Courduroux said:

The strong business performance we've achieved has allowed us the opportunity to evolve our cash deployment approach as we look to return more value to our shareowners. As we continue to grow our global business, we will use the strength of our cash position to both grow our business through investments, as well as returning cash to shareowners in the form of dividends and share repurchases.

The regular dividend payment equates to a $1.50-per-share annual dividend, yielding 1.5% based on the closing price of Monsanto's stock on June 6.

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