Software giant Microsoft Corp. (MSFT: Quote), on Tuesday announced a 15.0 percent increase in quarterly dividend, maintaining consistent payments to shareholders even as it sits on a sizable cash reserve.
Microsoft will pay a first-quarter dividend of $0.23 per share, reflecting a 3 cent increase over the prior quarter payment. The dividend is payable on December 13 to shareholders of record on November 15. The ex-dividend date will be November 13.
With steady quarterly profits and an unassailable hold on its MS Office software business, Microsoft has been piling up its cash position. As at the end of June 30, 2012, Microsoft had total cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $63.04 billion. Its outstanding shares at the end of the period totaled 8.38 billion.
Microsoft also said that its Board Director and former CEO of Merck & Co. Inc. Raymond Gilmartin has decided to retire after 11 years of service. Microsoft board will now have ten members including Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.
In other news, Microsoft reached a licensing deal with struggling Blackberry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM.TO, RIMM).
The deal involves providing Research In Motion access to Microsoft technology that facilitates the transfer of larger files between PCs and other devices. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Shares of Microsoft closed Tuesday at $31.17, down 0.11%, on a volume of over 34.0 million shares on the Nasdaq. In after hours, the stock dropped 0.40%.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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