Viacom resumes dividend, buying back stock


While spun-off CBS Corporation has continued to pay cash dividends to its shareholders, Viacom called a halt in early 2009. Now the company is resuming dividend payments – and has also announced a stock repurchase program.

As you would expect, the news sent Viacom’s stock higher on Wednesday.

“Viacom’s quarterly cash dividend and the resumption of our long-standing stock purchase program demonstrate our commitment to return value to our stockholders and our confidence in Viacom’s ability to deliver long-term, sustainable growth, said CEO Philippe Dauman at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Viacom’s Board of Directors has approved a regular quarterly cash dividend to stockholders beginning with the current quarter ended June 30, 2010.  The first quarterly dividend of $0.15 per share of Class A and Class B common stock will be payable on July 1, 2010 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 21, 2010.  

The board had authorized a resumption of the company’s stock purchase program and increased the funds available to purchase Class B common stock to $4 billion. The non-voting Class B shares are Viacom’s most widely traded stock issue. The stock buybacks are expected to resume in Q4 of this year.