NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it would double its cash dividend and that its board approved a plan to buy back up to $30 billion of the company's stock over the next four years.
The world's largest software maker also announced plans for a special one-time payout of $3 a share. All told, Microsoft said it would be returning $75 billion in cash to shareholders over the next four years.
As a result of the increase in the regular dividend, from an annual payment of 16 cents a share to four quarterly payments of 8 cents a share, Microsoft's stock will yield about 1.1 percent.
BillG ce biti bogatiji za 3.4 milijarde dolara, investitori dobijaju svoje pare nazad, a MS raste :-)
But Microsoft's new plan should reward all shareholders, most notably co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates and Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, handsomely in other ways.
Based on the most recent regulatory filings, Gates owned about 1.12 billion shares, which means he would receive nearly $3.4 billion from the one-time dividend alone. Gates announced Tuesday that he would donate his proceeds from the special dividend to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable organization named for the Microsoft chairman and his wife.
Will Microsoft's stock continue to climb higher now that it announced what it will do with its cash?
Gates would also get paid about $360 million a year as a result of the increase in the regular dividend. Ballmer, who owns about 411 million shares, stands to gain $1.2 billion from the special dividend and would receive $132 million a year under the increased regular dividend.