Microsoft Raises Quarterly Dividend

Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, late Wednesday said its board raised its quarterly dividend 12.5 percent to 9 cents, citing confidence in its product lineup and growth prospects.

The company, best known for its Windows operating system, said the dividend will be payable March 9 to shareholders of record from Feb. 17. The previous quarterly dividend was 8 cents.

"We remain confident in our growth prospects and have an exciting product lineup, which includes major releases like

Xbox 360, SQL Server 2005, Office 12 and Windows Vista," said Chris Liddell, chief financial officer, in a statement.

Microsoft said the higher dividend continues its "momentum on returning cash to shareholders after last year's $44 billion cash payout and our previously announced intention to execute the $19 billion remaining under our stock repurchase plan twice as quickly."

News source: Yahoo! News

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