Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drugmaker, raised its quarterly dividend on Monday by 10 percent. The company also authorized up to $10 billion worth of additional stock repurchases.
The dividend increase and new share repurchase program are a testament to our continued commitment to enhancing shareholder value and our continued confidence in the business, said Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read, in a release with the announcement.
Shares of Pfizer (NSYE: PFE) were trading Monday after the news down 1.17 percent, or 23 cents, to $20.32 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. The stock was among the most actively traded on the NYSE. But the market as a whole was trading down on concerns that the latest Eurozone plan won't help the continent avert financial crisis.
Stocks were further hurt by news that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) has cut its fourth-quarter revenue forecast by almost $1 billion.
Pfizer's best-selling Lipitor cholesterol drug lost U.S. patent protection on Nov. 30, but the company hopes its latest stock repurchase plan will help ease the pain for shareholders. The company said the new stock repurchases will be in addition to $500 million to $2.5 billion of authorized buybacks from its current repurchase program, according to Reuters.
In all, Pfizer said it plans to repurchase roughly $5 billion of the company's common stock in 2012.
The dividend increase announced Monday is from 20 cents per share to 22 cents per share.