Southwest Airlines doubles buyback and dividend

AP News
Posted: May 16, 2012 11:58 AM
Southwest Airlines doubles buyback and dividend

Southwest Airlines Co. is doubling its $500 million share buyback program to $1 billion and raising its quarterly dividend to 1 cent per share.

Southwest says its $500 million repurchase program was approved in August. It has bought back about 39 million shares for $325 million under the program as of Tuesday. Around 159 million shares were repurchased for $2.2 billion since January 2006.

The nation's fourth-biggest airline said Wednesday that it will increase its quarterly dividend is being increased to a penny from 0.45 cents per share. It will be paid on June 20 to shareholders of record on June 6.

Shares of Southwest, based in Dallas, rose 16 cents, or 2 percent, to $8.23 in midday trading.