BENTONVILLE, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT - News) announced at its 41st Annual Meeting of Shareholders today that its Board of Directors approved a new program authorizing the company to repurchase $15 billion of its shares. This program replaces the previous $15 billion program, announced on June 4, 2010, that had approximately $2 billion of remaining authorization. Under the program, repurchased shares are constructively retired and returned to unissued status.
“Our purchase of almost $13 billion of Walmart stock since last June is indicative of our strong free cash flow position,” said Charles Holley, Walmart executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We are pleased to continue our share repurchase program with this new $15 billion authorization.”
Through June 2, under the 2010 authorization, the company had spent more than $12.9 billion to repurchase more than 244 million shares. In addition to share repurchase, the company continues to return value to shareholders through dividends. Walmart increased the current fiscal year dividend per share by approximately 21 percent to $1.46, from $1.21 in fiscal 2011. During the first quarter of this year, the company distributed $1.3 billion in dividends.
“The combination of our annual dividend and share repurchase program indicates the strength of our company and its commitment to returning value to Walmart shareholders,” Holley added. “Walmart has increased its dividend every year since March of 1974, when we began paying a dividend of five cents per share.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., (NYSE:WMT - News) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 9,000 retail units under 60 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs more than two million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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