Microsoft plans to buy back as much as $40 billion in stock and raise its dividend to 51 cents a share, the company said Wednesday. It's the third time Microsoft has authorized a package that large, following $40 billion buybacks in 2013 and in 2016.
The big picture: S&P 500 companies are again picking up the pace of buybacks after a major lull in the second quarter, with tech companies leading the way.
- Cumulative year-to-date buybacks are now up 18% year over year, according to data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
- The rate of buybacks in Q2 was around 14% lower than the same quarter in 2018, and experts had been expecting the pace to continue to slow through the year.
Microsoft stock rose 1% in after-hours trading following the announcement, edging back towards its all-time high of $141.68.