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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 3, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Microsoft board approves dividend, makes diversity tweak to governance language

Redmond continues to ship its dimes and pennies to the investing public.

Microsoft’s board on Wednesday declared a cash dividend of 31 cents, the second straight quarterly dividend at that figure.

The dividend will be paid on March 12, to shareholders as of Feb. 19.

Microsoft executives at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday were asked why they, in September, raised their dividend by “only 11 percent” last year, given the sizeable amount of cash at the company’s disposal.

Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood responded that the company was proud of its dividend payment and share repurchase programs, but pivoted to reiterate that the greatest shareholder returns come if Microsoft succeeds at investing to build the world’s best products.

The pennies add up. Microsoft has raised its dividend every year since 2009, and paid $16.9 billion in dividends in two of its most recent fiscal years.

The board also amended its corporate governance guidelines “to make clear its commitment to diversity on the board by actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which board nominees are selected,” the company said.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, on a tour of sorts of technology industry shareholder meetings to push for greater opportunities for women and minorities, spoke in favor of such a policy at the company’s shareholder meeting Wednesday.

 

Comments | More in Corporate governance, Financial | Topics: board, dividend, jesse jackson

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