Aetna increases quarterly dividend 11 percent, expands stock buyback plan by $1 billion

Aetna Inc. said Friday that it is increasing its quarterly dividend by 11 percent and plans to repurchase up to $1 billion of its shares.

The health insurer said that its new dividend of 25 cents per share is payable on Jan. 30 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 15. That is up from the company's most recent dividend of 22.5 cents per share.

Aetna also said that its board authorized the company to repurchase up $1 billion additional shares, which is on top of its existing $464 million repurchase authority.

Shares of the Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer rose 57 cents to $86.42 in late afternoon trading, in line with broader market activity.