BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At its 40th Annual Meeting of Shareholders today, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced that its Board of Directors approved a new repurchase program that authorizes the company to repurchase $15 billion of its shares. This program replaces the previous $15 billion program, which was announced June 5, 2009 and had approximately $4.7 billion of remaining authorization. Under the program, repurchased shares are constructively retired and returned to unissued status.
"Share repurchase and dividends represent great ways to return value to our shareholders. In fact, in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, our $3 billion purchase representing 55.6 million shares, was a record for Walmart," said Tom Schoewe, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. executive vice president and chief financial officer. "During the past three years, our commitment to share repurchase was reflected in the company buying $18.5 billion of shares. In addition to share repurchase, Walmart will pay shareholders more than $4.5 billion in dividends during fiscal year 2011."
Walmart has increased its dividend every year since March of 1974, when it began paying a dividend of five cents per share. The company is paying an annual dividend of $1.21 per share this fiscal year, an 11 percent increase from the $1.09 paid last year.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than two million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune magazine's 2010 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.