Seagate Technology plc ("Seagate" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:STX) today announced that its Board of Directors (the "Board") has approved an increase to its quarterly cash dividend from $0.18 per share to $0.25 per share, an increase of 39%. The increase is effective with the dividend payable on March 1, 2012 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 15, 2012. The payment of any future quarterly dividends will be at the discretion of the Board and will be dependent upon Seagate's financial position, results of operations, available cash, cash flow, capital requirements and other factors deemed relevant by the Board.
Additionally, the Board has authorized the Company to repurchase an additional $1 billion of its outstanding common shares (the "January 2012 authorization"). The January 2012 authorization extends Seagate's commitment to enhancing shareholder value by utilizing the robust cash generation ability of its business. To date, Seagate has utilized approximately $1.1 billion against the existing $2 billion share repurchase authorization approved by the Board on November 29, 2010 to repurchase 67.8 million shares. The remaining balance of the November 2010 authorization ($0.9 billion) is expected to be utilized by the end of fiscal year 2012 (June 29, 2012), market and other economic conditions permitting.
"These actions by the Board demonstrate our ongoing commitment to maximize shareholder value," said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. "The Board and the management team remain confident in the company's ability to maintain a strong balance sheet and sustain exceptional cash generation from the business."
Seagate expects to fund the dividend and share repurchases through a combination of cash on hand, future cash flow from operations and potential alternative sources of financing. Share repurchases under these authorizations may be made through a variety of methods, which may include open market purchases, privately negotiated transactions, block trades, accelerated share repurchase transactions, or by any combination of such methods. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors including the common share price, corporate and regulatory requirements and other market and economic conditions. The share repurchase authorization may be suspended or discontinued at any time.