GM Raises 2016 Profit Outlook, Boosts Share Buybacks, Dividend

General Motors said on Wednesday it will return cash to shareholders by raising its stock buyback program by 80 percent to $9 billion and increasing its dividend by 6 percent, sending shares up 4.3 percent in premarket trading.

GM also raised its 2016 earnings per share forecast to $5.25 and $5.75 per share from a previous 2016 outlook made in October of between $5.00 and $5.50 per share.

Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said the automaker will reduce capital spending as a share of revenue below the current 5 percent to 5.5 percent late in this decade.

Barra and GM President Dan Ammann said the company's capital expenditures can be lowered after 2019 because of common vehicle architectures being developed now.

Barra and other top GM executives will make a presentation for its 2016 financial outlook to Wall Street analysts at an industry conference in Detroit on Wednesday morning.

GM shares in the minutes after the company made its announcement rose 4.3 percent to $31.60 per share.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe))