Microsoft announces new dividend increase amid board member shake up

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Earlier this week, Microsoft blessed its investors with a dividend raise in the vein of its other annual payouts during the fall months as well as a new buyback plan ahead of its quarterly reporting.

However, according to a report from Seeking Alpha, Microsoft went above and beyond this year with its Fall dividend drop by announcing a $0.5 per share increase a quarter, “The new payout will be $0.51 a year, or $2.04 per year and is payable Dec. 12, 2019, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2019. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 20, 2019.”

The dividend increase represents one of the largest raises since Microsoft’s stock began its meteoric rise over the past four years. Historically speaking, Microsoft’s dividend has tripled its amount since 2010 to the tune of 13.75% compound growth per year.

Additionally, Microsoft also shared details of its new share buyback plan that the company is looking to recirculate of up to $40 billion. The new plan comes amid the company’s current repurchase option that still has $11.4 billion left to grab. Microsoft hasn’t clarified if the new plan will replace, sit atop or be an addition to the current plan. Presumably, Microsoft will share more details of the repurchase plan during its next 10-Q reporting.

The combined news sent Microsoft’s stock close to an all-time high at $140 signaling investors interest and satisfaction in not only the raised dividend but ultimately how the stocks revenue yield continues to provide decent gains year over year.

In other news, Microsoft also announced this week that the annual shareholders meeting will become a virtually held event hosted by CEO Satya Nadella, CFO Amy Hood, company president Brad Smith, and independent board chair John Thompson. The October 8, 2019 meeting will take place at the close of businesses.

Perhaps, following some scheduling complaints or complications, Microsoft is looking to streamline the shareholder meeting experience further by the use of interactive and democratized technology.

A virtual meeting format also provides a consistent experience to all shareholders regardless of location, as well as the opportunity for global, multilingual and interactive access to a dialogue with our senior executives and directors. This shift also addresses the ongoing decline in the number of shareholders attending our in-person meeting and changes in Washington state law offering companies more flexibility to effectively use technology to conduct shareholders meetings.

Lastly, Microsoft is shaking up the count of its board members with the addition of Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and member of the GSK board while also announcing the retirement of Charles H. Noski, former vice-chairman of AT&T Corp. and Bank of America Corp., and Dr. Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG.

Noski and Panke served as board members for close to 16 years but have now decided to not seek re-election this time around.

If and when Walmsley is elected, Microsoft’s board will consist of 13 members with varied industry backgrounds including PepsiCo, Bank of New York, Marriott International, Gap Inc and more.