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Applied Materials Lifts Dividend 13%, Adds $3 Billion To Buybacks

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) raised its quarterly dividend 13% and authorized up to $3 billion in stock buybacks over the next three years, joining a growing list of companies that have stepped up efforts to reward shareholders of late. The penny per-share dividend increase--to 9 cents a share--will cost the company about $5.16 million more each year. Applied's current stock-repurchase program launched in 2010 meanwhile has less than $1 billion worth of buybacks remaining. That program will end when the new plan goes into effect. The new buyback program is slated to expire in March 2015. Many companies have raised payouts to shareholders in recent months to signal confidence in their business prospects while reassuring investors who might have been dissuaded by last fall's stock market volatility. Applied Materials' latest fiscal first-quarter profit slumped on weaker sales and acquisition costs, but the semiconductor-equipment maker said recent orders would deliver a stronger result in the second quarter. Chairman and Chief Executive Mike Splinter on Monday said the latest dividend increase demonstrates the company's confidence in its ability to generate strong cash flow across business cycles. "Both the dividend and the share repurchase program demonstrate our ongoing commitment to return capital to our shareholders, while we continue to invest in the long-term growth of our businesses," Splinter said. Shares were recently up 1%, at $12.15 after hours. The stock is off 28% over the past year through Monday's close. -By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909;

Stock News for Applied Materials (AMAT)
06/23/201616:08:43Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
06/13/201608:45:00Technical Scrutiny on Semiconductor Equipment & Materials Stocks...
06/10/201616:23:40Securities Registration: Employee Benefit Plan (s-8)
06/09/201618:10:00Applied Materials Board Approves Fresh $2 Billion Share Buyback
06/09/201617:54:00Applied Materials Board Approves Fresh $2 Billion Share Buyback
06/09/201616:30:00Applied Materials Announces New $2 Billion Share Repurchase Program...
06/06/201617:04:17Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/27/201617:41:59Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/27/201613:12:41Specialized Disclosure Report (sd)
05/26/201616:23:20Quarterly Report (10-q)
05/25/201617:23:09Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/25/201609:00:00Applied Materials to Present at Upcoming Investor Conferences
05/20/201609:43:00U.S. Hot Stocks: Hot Stocks to Watch
05/19/201618:42:00Applied Materials Issues Upbeat Guidance as New Orders Surge--Update
05/19/201617:30:00Applied Materials Issues Upbeat Guidance as New Orders Surge
05/19/201617:25:00Applied Materials Issues Upbeat Guidance as New Orders Surge
05/19/201616:14:16Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/19/201616:02:00Applied Materials Announces Second Quarter 2016 Results
05/06/201608:00:00Applied Materials to Hold Q2 FY2016 Earnings Webcast on May 19...
04/07/201618:57:40Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)

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