Pfizer lifts quarterly dividend 10 pct to 22 cents

AP News
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Posted: Dec 12, 2011 12:15 PM
Pfizer lifts quarterly dividend 10 pct to 22 cents

Pfizer says it will raise its quarterly dividend by 2 cents to 22 cents per share starting early next year.

The world's largest drugmaker says the new dividend will be payable March 6 to shareholders of record at the close of business Feb. 3.

The New York company's board of directors also authorized a new share repurchase program for up to $10 billion. The company expects to buy back about $5 billion in common stock next year.

Pfizer Inc.'s product portfolio includes the cholesterol fighter Lipitor, which recently lost U.S. patent protection, and the impotence pill Viagra, among other products.

The company had cut its dividend in half from 32 cents to 16 cents per share in 2009, when it announced it was acquiring fellow drugmaker Wyeth for $68 billion.