Qualcomm, Inc. Approves $15 Billion Stock Buy Back, Raises Dividend

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The board of directors of Qualcomm approved a major increase in its capital program including a stock buyback and dividend increase.

According to Qualcomm, its board of directors authorized a $15 billion shares repurchase program. The new stock buyback program replaces its previous program with $2.1 billion remaining authorization.

The stock price of Qualcomm closed $72.71 per share today. The stock climbed further by 2.57% to $74.57 per share after-hours.

Qualcomm to repurchase $10 billion worth of stock over the next 12 months

Qualcomm is planning to repurchase $10 billion worth of its common stock over the next twelve months after its announcement. The plan is in addition to its existing commitment to return a minimum of 75% of its free cash flow to shareholders through stock buyback and dividends.

In a statement, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said, “Our business continues to generate substantial operating cash flow. Today’s announcement represents an important step in returning that cash to our owners while still preserving the strategic flexibility needed to drive stockholder value through growth. ”

Qualcomm said the timing and number of shares to be repurchased will depend upon prevailing market conditions and factors. It may repurchase its own shares in the open markets, through 10b5-1 programs, privately negotiated transactions or through derivative instruments.

The company plans to make an accelerated shares repurchase program in the third quarter for a portion of the $10 billion program.

Qualcomm increases dividend by 14%

The board of directors of Qualcomm also approved a 14% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to $0.48 per share from $0.42 per share. Its annual dividend payout on its common stock is now $1.92 per share.

According to the company, the new dividend will be paid to stockholders after March 25. Qualcomm said it would finance its capital return program primarily by accessing public debt markets this

The company already returned $3.9 billion capital to shareholders including $3.2 billion in stock buybacks and $697 million in cash dividend to date in fiscal 2015.

Last year, Qualcomm exceeded its commitment to return 75% of its free cash flow. The company returned $7.1 billion or 93% of free cash flow to stockholders through stock buyback and dividends.

Mollenkopf said Qualcomm continues to build on its track record of returning capital to shareholders as the company exceeded its capital return commitments in 2014. According to him, the company already returned total of $37 billion to shareholders since 2003.

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