Microsoft Corp. plans to pay out most of its cash hoard directly to shareholders through a combination of dividends and stock buybacks totaling up to $75 billion over four years, the software maker said Tuesday, ending speculation about what it planned to do with its billions in cash reserves.
Microsoft, which has a near monopoly on the software that runs the world’s desktop computers, generated $10.4 billion in cash during its 2003 fiscal year alone. But its stock price has been little changed for almost three years, increasing pressure on the company to do something with its cash reserves that now total at least $56 billion.
With the bulk of Microsoft’s legal troubles behind it, the company said it finally felt free to spend part of its stockpile.
The Redmond-based company plans to pay a one-time dividend of $3 per share–at a cost of $32 billion–and will double its annual dividend to 32 cents per share. Microsoft also said it plans to buy back up to $30 billion of the company’s stock over the next four years.
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Soooooooo much money it’s unreal. :rolleyes: