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American Express Boosts Dividend; Announces New Stock Buyback Authorization

American Express Co. (AXP) said Monday that its board of directors has approved a $0.02, or 11%, increase in the quarterly dividend on the company's common stock from $0.18 to $0.20 per share.

The new dividend is payable on May 10 to shareholders of record on April 5.

This marks the first increase since November 2007, when the dividend was increased to $0.18 from $0.15. American Express has continued to pay its regular quarterly dividend without interruption throughout the recent recession.

The company also said its board has authorized the repurchase of up to 150 million common shares from time to time, in accordance with the company's capital distribution plans approved by the Federal Reserve and subject to market conditions.

The authorization replaces the prior 200 million share repurchase program that had about 38 million shares of common stock remaining under board authorization.

American Express had announced on March 13 that the Federal Reserve had no objections to the company's capital distribution plan outlining the company's plans to return capital to shareholders through share repurchases of up to $4 billion during 2012 and up to $1 billion in the first quarter of 2013, as well as the increase in the company's quarterly dividend.

by RTT Staff Writer

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