International Paper (IP) announced its board of directors has authorized a share repurchase program to acquire up to $1.5 billion of the company's common stock. The company intends to repurchase such shares over the next two to three years in open market repurchase transactions. Also today, the company announced its board of directors is raising the company's quarterly dividend by 17%.
"The authorization of this repurchase program and the dividend increase reflect our continued confidence in International Paper's long-term profitability and sustainable free cash flow generation," said John Faraci, chairman and CEO. "International Paper continues to be committed to a balanced use of cash in a way that maximizes value to our shareowners."
The dividend is being increased 17% from $0.30 to $0.35 per share for the period from Oct.1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2013, inclusive, on the company's common stock, par value $1.00. This dividend is payable on Dec. 16, 2013, to holders of record at the close of business on Nov. 15, 2013. The company's board of directors also declared a regular quarterly dividend of $1.00 per share for the period from Oct. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2013, inclusive, on the cumulative $4.00 preferred stock of the company. This dividend is also payable on Dec. 16, 2013, to holders of record at the close of business on Nov. 15, 2013.