AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today that its board of directors has approved a 2.4 percent increase in the company’s quarterly dividend and a 300 million share repurchase authorization.
AT&T directors increased the quarterly dividend rate from $0.42 to $0.43 a share on a quarterly basis, which would be an increase from $1.68 to $1.72 a share on an annualized basis.
At the same time, AT&T announced a new share repurchase authorization for 300 million shares. The authorization represents approximately 5 percent of outstanding shares and has no expiration date.
“This dividend increase, combined with the repurchase authorization, reflects the board’s confidence in our ability to generate strong cash flows,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T. “We have continued to invest to deliver the connectivity that is vital to the lives and business of our customers, and I’m proud that, at the same time, sound financial management has enabled us to lead the industry in returning cash to stockholders, even while reducing debt.”
Today’s announcement reflects AT&T’s continued commitment to a disciplined financial policy, which allows the company to strategically invest in its business and return cash to stockholders while maintaining a strong balance sheet.
The dividend will be payable on Feb. 1, 2011 to common stockholders of record on Jan. 10, 2011. The timing and nature of share repurchases are subject to market conditions and applicable securities law.