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Paying Dividends…For 96 Years

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IBM held its annual shareholders meeting earlier today in North Charleston, South Carolina, at which the IBM board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.85 per common share, payable on June 9, 2012 to stockholders of record May 10, 2012.

This dividend declaration represents an increase of $0.10, or 13 percent higher than the prior quarterly dividend of $0.75 per common share.

This is the 17th year in a row that IBM has increased its quarterly cash dividend, and the ninth consecutive year of double-digit percent increases.

IBM has increased its dividend by over 600 percent since the beginning of 2000, and with the payment of the June 9th dividend, IBM will have paid consecutive quarterly dividends every year since 1916.

IBM’s board also authorized $7 billion in additional funds for use in the company’s stock repurchase program. IBM will repurchase shares on the open market or in private transactions from time to time, depending on market conditions.

This is in addition to approximately $5.7 billion remaining at the end of March from a prior authorization.

With this new authorization, IBM will have approximately $12.7 billion for its stock repurchase program.

IBM has reduced its share count by a third since the start of 2000.

Ginni Rometty, IBM president and chief executive officer, had this to say about the announcement: “We continue in our commitment to deliver value to our shareholders.  Since 2000, we have returned over $137 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.  At the same time, we continue to invest in capital expenditures, acquisitions and research and development, to keep IBM at the forefront of innovation.”

IBM shares were up 2.28 percent on the news.

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