International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) announced today that the board of directors of the firm had voted to approve a new $5 billion stock buyback plan. The old school tech giant also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $1.10 per common share, payable on December 10, 2014 to stockholders of record as of November 10, 2014. IBM has now delivered consecutive quarterly dividends every year since 1916.
The statement noted the firm will purchase shares both on the open market and in private transactions, depending on opportunity and market conditions.
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Of note, the new $5 billion authorized is in addition to the close to $1.4 billion remaining at the end of September 2014 from an earlier authorization. This means that the company will have around $6.4 billion in its stock repurchase program. Moreover, the statement also noted that the firm expects to request additional share repurchase authorization at the April 2015 board meeting.
Statement from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty
Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer said, “We will continue to make the investments and changes necessary to manage our business for the long term and to shift to higher-value offerings. At the same time we remain fully committed to returning significant value to shareholders.”
IBM also announces Ebola analytics and tracking system
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) also announced on Tuesday that it is helping out in the fight against Ebola in Africa by launching an advanced analytics system to track the spread of the disease in Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organization notes there have been more than 3,400 Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, with more than 1,200 deaths. Ebola has infected close to 10,000 people in the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, with more than 4,500 deaths to date.
The new analytics system developed by IBM’s Nairobi-based Africa research lab and the government of Sierra Leone allows citizens report Ebola-related issues and problems via text message or phone calls. The goal is to provide the government with insight into communities impacted by Ebola so it can develop an effective strategy to contain the disease.