Viacom declares first dividend

Viacom declared its first quarterly dividend yesterday and reinstated a stock repurchase program, addressing questions about how it would invest its extra cash. Viacom, the only major US media company that had not been paying a dividend, set a quarterly dividend of 15 cents a share. The owner of film studio Paramount Pictures along with cable TV networks such as MTV and Comedy Central also announced plans to buy back up to $4bn of its stock. It suspended its repurchase program in early 2009. The moves return some of its cash to shareholders after several quarters of improving results. The dividend is the first Viacom has paid as a stand-alone company following its split from CBS Corp in 2006.