MICROSOFT will raise its quarterly dividend by 22 per cent to $0.28 per share, it announced yesterday, a change that will cost the company an additional $422m a quarter.
The increase is the eighth for the software giant since 2004. Its last increase was in September when it raised the payments by three cents to $0.23.
“These actions reflect a continued commitment to returning cash to our shareholders,” said Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood.
The software giant will also renew its share repurchase scheme, which was set to expire on 30 September, with a new $40bn buyback plan with no expiration date.
Microsoft has undergone a number of changes in recent months, culminating with the surprise announcement last month from long standing chief executive Steve Ballmer that he intends to retire within a year.
This month Microsoft announced its purchase of Nokia’s devices division for €5.44bn, as the Redmond-based firm transitions itself into a devices and services business.
Microsoft was forced to report a $900m charge on its books last quarter due to “inventory adjustments” of its unsold Surface RT tablet range.
On Monday Microsoft has invited journalists to attend a Surface event where the company is expected to unveil its next foray into the tablet space.