Early this morning just before Wall Street opened for trading, Microsoft announced that it would be buying back $40 billion of its own stock as well as increasing its quarterly dividend by 22 percent. This announcement comes on the heels of the company's previous $40 billion buyback program that will expire at the end of this month.
Microsoft said that its quarterly dividend will rise to $0.28 per share, which is up from the $0.23 per share it paid last quarter. Unlike the last buyback initiative, there is no expiration date for the new program, which means the buyback could take a while to complete. Shortly after the announcement, Microsoft stock opened about $0.60 per share higher than at closing on Monday at about $32.75 per share. At the time of this writing, it is down to about $33 per share, which is an increase of 0.7 percent over its closing numbers Monday, and is actually lower than what the stock closed at on Friday.