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Bristol Myers Raises Dividend and Adds to Its Buyback Plan. The Stock Jumps.

Bristol Myers is adding $15 billion to its stock buyback program, bringing the total authorization to about $15.2 billion.

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Shares of Bristol Myers Squibb were higher Monday after the biopharma giant boosted its dividend and added $15 billion to its stock buyback program.

Bristol Myers (ticker: BMY
) will now pay shareholders a quarterly dividend of 54 cents a share, representing a 10.2% increase over last year’s quarterly dividend rate of 49 cents. The annual dividend rate for the 2022 fiscal year is $2.16 a share.

The dividend will start to be paid out Feb. 1, to shareholders owning the stock as of Jan. 7.

The board also approved a quarterly dividend of 50 cents a share on the company’s $2 convertible preferred stock.

“Investment in business development continues to be a key priority for the company in driving innovation and sustained growth as we return capital to shareholders through the dividend increase and expanded share repurchase authorization,” said Giovanni Caforio, board chair and chief executive officer.

Bristol Myers plans on repurchasing an additional $15 billion of the company’s common stock, bringing the total authorization to about $15.2 billion. Management will execute repurchases “at its discretion,” and the buyback could be suspended or discontinued at any time, the company said.

The stock was rising 1.5% to $57.22 in premarket trading Monday.

Shares of the biopharma company have been hit hard this year, dropping 9% amid concerns it will lose exclusivity on drugs like multiple-myeloma treatment Revlimid in 2022, and cancer treatment Opdivo and blood-clot preventer Eliquis later this decade.

Write to Sabrina Escobar at [email protected]

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