The board of directors of International Business Machines raised its dividend by 13 percent and approved an additional $7 billion stock buyback plan.
The information technology giant boosted its quarterly cash dividend to 85 cents a share from 75 cents a share, payable on June 9 to stockholders of record as of May 10.
It was the 17th straight year IBM has increased its dividend, and the ninth year in a row of double-digit percent increases. IBM has consistently paid quarterly dividends every year since 1916, the company said.
IBM's board also allotted $7 billion to its stock repurchase program, in addition to the roughly $5.7 billion remaining from a prior authorization. The company's board said it expects to request additional share repurchase authorization at its October 2012 meeting.
"Since 2000, we have returned over $137 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases," Ginni Rometty, IBM president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "At the same time, we continue to invest in capital expenditures, acquisitions, and research and development to keep IBM at the forefront of innovation."
Following the announcement, IBM's shares rose in early trading.