Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has been authorized to repurchase $15 billion of its shares, effective June 6, 2013. The retailer announced on Friday that the Board of Directors in the Annual Meeting has approved the new share repurchase plan.

Wal-Mart logo

Wal-Mart New Buy-Back Program

The new buy-back program replaces the earlier program announced in June 2011 to purchase $15 billion shares. As of June 6, shares worth $712 million were still left to be repurchased under the earlier program.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) executive vice president and chief financial officer, Charles Holley said that the company’s robust cash flow has the backed the plans to invest in the growth and buyback of more than $14 billion of stocks in two years. On the new program, he said “We’re pleased to continue our share repurchase program with this new $15 billion authorization.”

Wal-Mart Dividend & Repurchase

The CFO said that the company has a long history of paying back to the shareholders in the form of dividends and repurchases, and they are proud of this fact. Including payment for the second quarter dividend, Wal-Mart has paid $6.2 billion to the shareholders year-to-date during fiscal 2014. In the last 10 years, the company has returned about $100 billion to shareholders.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) repurchased about 30 million shares for $2.2 billion during the first quarter and paid $1.6 billion in dividends.

Apart from share repurchases, the retailer has also been creating value for the shareholders through constant dividends. Holly told that the company has been paying a dividend since March of 1974. At that time, it paid 5 cents a share, and since has increased dividend every year. This year, the company increased the dividend for fiscal 2013 by almost 18 percent per share to $1.88 for fiscal 2014, up from $1.59 in fiscal 2013.

Wal-Mart Q1 Earnings

For the first quarter, earnings reported by the giant retailer missed the Wall Street expectations primarily due to low traffic at US stores. The earning came in at $1.14 per share compared to $1.09 per share in the prior year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter rose marginally to $114.19 billion from $113.02 billion a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of $1.15 per share on revenue of $115.78 billion.

The retailer also recently appointed Dan Barlett as the new EVP for Corporate Affairs who will succeed Leslie Dach.