Microsoft to Buy Back $40 Billion of Stock

REDMOND, Wash. - Software giant Microsoft Corp. said Monday its board approved a plan to buy back up to another $40 billion of its shares.

The program expires on Sept. 30, 2013. As of July 28, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft had about 9.13 billion shares outstanding, according to a regulatory filing.

The company said it has completed its previous $40 billion stock repurchase program.

Microsoft also raised its quarterly dividend to 13 cents from 11 cents. The dividend is payable Dec. 11 to shareholders of record on Nov. 20.

The company's board has also authorized debt financings of up to $6 billion. As part of this authorization, Microsoft has established a $2 billion commercial paper program. The company plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including buybacks and funding for working capital.

On Monday, Moody's Investors service assigned an "Aaa" senior unsecured debt rating to Microsoft, with a stable outlook. The ratings agency said this reflects the company's "position as the world's largest software company with a strong and defensible market position throughout its diverse core offerings."