AT&T Boosts Dividend Payment, Will Purchase Shares

AT&T Inc. has declared a 2.4 percent increase in the companys quarterly dividend.

AT&T directors last week boosted the quarterly dividend from $0.42 to $0.43 a share. The telecommunications giant said that reflects a rise, on an annual basis, from $1.68 to $1.72 per share. The improvement comes thanks mostly to AT&T’s wireless division, the exclusive carrier of the Apple iPhone 

AT&T also announced a share repurchase authorization for 300 million shares,” in which the company will buy its own shares on the New York Stock Exchange. AT&T said the authorization reflects roughly 5 percent of outstanding shares and has no expiration date. Outstanding shares represent the number of shares owned by stockholders.

This dividend increase, combined with the repurchase authorization, reflects the boards confidence in our ability to generate strong cash flows,” AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.

In the third quarter of 2010, AT&T brought home net income of $12.3 billion, or earnings per share of $2.08, on consolidated revenues of $31.6 billion.

And, in a third-quarter investor presentation, AT&T stated that, over the last six quarters, it has generated roughly $9 billion in free cash flow after dividends. AT&T defines free cash flow as cash from operations less capital expenditures.”

Shares of AT&T were trading this afternoon at $29.20 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol T. Over the last year, the shares have ranged between a high of $29.56 on December 15, 2010 and a low of $23.78 on May 25, 2010, according to the New York Stock Exchange.

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