For the first time in a year, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will boost its quarterly dividend, from $0.23 to $0.28 per share, representing a 22% increase from the payout given in each of the four prior quarters, the company announced today.

The new quarterly dividend equates to a 3.4% dividend yield, based on Microsoft's Sept. 16 closing price of $32.80 a share.

Additionally, the Redmond, Wash.-based software and services provider announced its board of directors has approved a new, $40 billion stock repurchase program to replace the $40 billion stock buyback initiative that was set to expire on Sept. 30. The new buyback authorization has no expiration date.

Both the dividend increase and new stock buyback initiative, according to Microsoft CFO Amy Hood, as quoted in today's press release, "reflect a continued commitment to returning cash to our shareholders."

The new $0.28-per-share quarterly dividend is payable on Dec. 12 to shareholders of record on Nov. 21. The ex-dividend date is Nov. 19.



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