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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 29, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Microsoft: We gave $169 billion to investors, more to come?

The most jaw-dropping number of the day: $169 billion is how much Microsoft has returned to shareholders over the last 10 years through dividends and stock buybacks.

That was a closing note from Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein during Microsoft’s annual meeting with financial analysts.

But apparently $169 billion isn’t enough. During the question and answer session, the second question was about when Microsoft might give back more of its current $40 billion cash pile.

Microsoft had annually increased its dividend but kept it flat last year during the economic downturn. Klein said the board will review the dividend this fall.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the dividend will resume its annual increase.

“I would imagine our philosophy and operating principals will be consistent with what they’ve been in the past,” Klein said, after noting that the dividend in the past went up every year.

Klein’s slide on the $169 billion:

169b.jpg

Comments | Topics: dividend, financial analyst meeting, Microsoft

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