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IBM increases dividend 25 percent, reasserting confidence

by Steve BogdonTuesday, April 29, 2008

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - IBM Corp. increased its dividend payout 25 percent Tuesday, reflecting the technology company's confidence that it can thrive even with an uncertain economy.

At IBM's annual shareholder meeting in Charlotte, the board of directors upped the quarterly dividend to 50 cents per share. For the past four quarters it had been 40 cents per share.

The move comes two weeks after IBM reported a 26 percent jump in profit and raised its earnings forecast for the year. The company also plans to spend $12 billion buying back its shares in 2008.

IBM shares rose $1.09 to $122.78 in morning trading.

About a dozen IBM retirees and union members picketed outside the shareholder meeting to point out IBM's offshoring practices and its recent cuts in base pay for some U.S. technical employees.

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