Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares bounded higher on Thursday, looking on track to close at a new record high, boosted by the approval of a new $40 billion stock buyback program and news of an 11% quarterly dividend.
It is the third time the software giant’s board has authorized a buyback plan of that size, having previously done so in 2013 and again in 2016 – with the firm due to reach the end of the 2016 share-buyback program within the next few months.
Microsoft also raised its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 51 cents a share, a slightly higher increase than the company announced a year ago
Microsoft stock, which is up 40% so far this year, hit a new intraday peak of $142.37 in morning trade on Thursday, above its previous record close of $141.32 hit on July 26, before easing back to $141.57.
The group is currently the world’s biggest publicly-traded company, with a market cap of $1.06 trillion based on Wednesday’s closing share price, just above Apple’s at $1.01 trillion.
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