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Amgen Boosts Dividend 31% While Adding $2 Billion Buyback

Amgen Inc., the world’s largest biotechnology company, said it will increase its dividend 31 percent for the first quarter of 2013 and buy back an additional $2 billion in shares.

Amgen will pay stockholders 47 cents a share on March 7, the Thousand Oaks, California-based company said today in a statement. Amgen in July 2011 became the first biotechnology company to pay a dividend. The current payment is 36 cents, and analysts estimated an increase to 40 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Amgen is looking for new products and acquisitions to boost revenue as its former core anemia business declines. The company on Dec. 10 said it had agreed to buy DeCode Genetics Inc., a genetics research company, for $415 million. Earlier this year, Amgen acquired Micromet Inc. for $1.16 billion to add an experimental leukemia drug, signed a development deal with London-based AstraZeneca Plc and boosted its presence in the cancer market through sales of Xgeva, a bone drug that reduces fractures.

The company also said it had authorized further share repurchases with $500 million left to spend from its current $10 billion program.

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