Medtronic Inc. (MDT:US), the largest maker of heart rhythm and spinal devices, increased its stock buyback program by 80 million shares and boosted its quarterly cash dividend (MDT:US) to 28 cents per share.
The increase brings Medtronic’s annual dividend to $1.12 per share for a current yield of 2.2 percent, the Minneapolis-based company said today in a statement. Medtronic has raised its dividend each year for the past 36 years. The share repurchase program accounts for about 8 percent of the company’s outstanding common stock.
Medtronic is committed to returning 50 percent of its free cash flow (MDT:US) to investors each year through dividends and share repurchases, Omar Ishrak, chief executive officer of the Minneapolis-based company, said in the statement. The dividend is payable July 26 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 5. Share repurchases will be made on the open market, the company said.
The policy “still gives us ample flexibility to make necessary investments for sustainable growth,” Ishrak said.
Medtronic said it has bought more than 142 million shares for $5.6 billion in the last five years.
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