Boeing Boosts Dividend 10%, Revives Buyback Program

By Matt Egan Markets FOXBusiness

(Boeing)

Encouraged by upbeat growth prospects, Boeing (BA) unveiled plans on Monday to return cash to shareholders by hiking its quarterly dividend 10% and restarting a buyback program that aims to repurchase up to $2 billion of stock in 2013.

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The move marks the latest by a U.S. company to boost dividend payouts, but Boeing declined to accelerate the payout ahead of the year-end fiscal cliff that could send tax rates on dividends soaring.

Boeing said it plans to increase its quarterly dividend by 10% to 48.5 cents a share. The dividend is payable on March 8 to shareholders of record as of February 15.

At the same time, the aerospace and defense giant is resuming a stock repurchase program following its fourth-quarter earnings announcement in late January.

The program, first unveiled in October 2007 before the Great Recession, still has $3.6 billion remaining.

Boeing said it anticipates buying back between $1.5 billion and $2 billion of its common stock in 2013.

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“Strong cash generation, consistently solid core operating performance and a positive growth outlook enable us to take these steps to deliver value for our shareholders," Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said in a statement.

Unlike Boeing, a slew of big-name companies like Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and The Washington Post Co. (WPO) accelerated their dividend payouts in recent weeks to avoid higher tax rates on dividends.

Shares of Chicago-based Boeing dipped 0.07% to $74.60 in extended trading Monday afternoon. The stock gained 0.85% to $74.65 during regular trading, leaving it up 1.77% on the year.