Boeing’s (NYSE: BA) board has authorized the company to buy back $10 billion worth of its own shares -- the largest buyback in the company's history -- and announced that the company’s regular quarterly dividend has been increased by 50 percent to 73 cents a share from 48.5 cents a share.
The Chicago-based company’s decisions, announced on Monday, are aimed at rewarding its shareholders as the company enjoys soaring profits resulting from the sale of its aircraft, including the twin-engine 787 Dreamliner and the 777 jet. Boeing’s previous share-repurchase program was for $7 billion in 2007, of which $800 million remain unused. Boeing had suspended its repurchase program from 2009 to 2012 after being hit by the financial crisis, and it resumed buying back its shares earlier this year when it purchased shares worth $2.8 billion.
“Our team's relentless focus on business execution and competitiveness is providing the financial strength to continue investing in our core businesses while increasing our returns to shareholders,” Jim McNerney, Boeing's president and CEO, said in a statement.
The company's stock has surged about 80 percent this year, despite several setbacks, including the grounding of its 787 Dreamliner jets due to technical issues earlier this year. The company also reported a 12 percent annual increase in its profits to $1.2 billion on revenues of $22.1 billion in the most recent quarter.
The buyback decision also comes at a time when Boeing is scouting for a suitable location to house its $10 billion 777X jetliner factory and several U.S. states are offering it tax breaks and other perks, to attract the company and the thousands of jobs that the project would create.
The company said it expects to begin repurchasing shares in January 2014, through the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The dividend is payable on March 7, 2014, to shareholders of record as of Feb. 14, 2014.