International Business Machines Corp also said on Tuesday that it would pay a quarterly cash dividend of 65 cents per share, unchanged from the previous quarter. With its shares trading near all-time highs, International Business Machines Corp. said it set aside an additional $10 billion to repurchase shares and plans to reserve more money for buybacks in April.
The technology giant said the funds are in addition to about $2.3 billion remaining at the end of September from the $8 billion buyback approved this past April. IBM, which repurchased $3.7 billion shares during the third quarter, has a market capitalization of about $177 billion.
Many companies recently have boosted their buyback efforts as the need to hoard cash has waned with the improving economy, and some companies see the opportunity to buy back shares at bargain prices.
According to Chief Executive Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM has returned $91 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends since 2003.
The company in April boosted its quarterly dividend by 18%, representing the 15th consecutive year that it has upped its payout. In the third quarter, the dividend cost the company $800 million.
Last week, IBM reported its third-quarter profit jumped 12% as the company benefited from higher revenue and reported strong demand in growth markets. It also increased its full-year earnings estimate for the third time.