Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) has reported that its Board of Directors has approved a 23.1% rise in the quarterly cash dividend from USD 0.26 to USD 0.32 per share. The dividend will be payable on June 15th, 2023 to shareholders of record as of May 25th, 2023. The board has approved a new share repurchase program to enable Applied to buyback another USD 10 Billion of its shares over time. This will supplement the previous authorization of USD 4.7 Billion remaining at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2023.
“The dividend increase, our largest in five years, and the new share repurchase authorization reflect our positive long-term view of the semiconductor market and our confidence in Applied’s outsized growth opportunities driven by our technology leadership, broad portfolio of differentiated products and strong customer engagements,” said Gary Dickerson, President and CEO. The company has a history of returning free cash flow to shareholders as the company initiated its dividend program in 2005 and within the past 10 years increased the quarterly dividend paid per share at an 11% compound annual growth rate while reducing the number of shares outstanding by 30%.
Brice Hill, Senior Vice President and CFO, added, “As the market for semiconductors has grown and diversified – and our services business has become larger and more subscription-based – Applied’s revenue and profitability have become more predictable and resilient. Given these trends, we believe our free cash flow will continue to grow over time and can support increasing the dividend at an accelerated rate and doubling the previous dividend per share over the next several years.”