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MasterCard Boosts Dividend 83%, Announces 10-for-1 Stock Split

MasterCard Inc., the second-biggest bank-card network, said its board of directors approved an 83 percent dividend increase and a 10-for-1 stock split.

MasterCard, which raised its quarterly dividend to $1.10 a share, also authorized repurchasing as much as $3.5 billion of stock, the Purchase, New York-based company said yesterday in a statement. Investors who own MasterCard stock on Jan. 9 will get the additional shares on Jan. 21, the company said.

Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga is boosting payouts to shareholders as more consumers shift from cash to electronic payments. In February, the firm doubled its quarterly dividend to 60 cents a share and approved a $2 billion stock-repurchase program.

“Today’s actions reflect our ongoing commitment to deliver shareholder value as well as our confidence in the long-term growth and financial performance of our company,” Banga, 54, said in the statement.

MasterCard climbed 4.8 percent to $800 in extended trading yesterday in New York. The shares advanced 55 percent this year through the close of regular trading, outpacing the 22 percent advance of the 65-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Information Technology Index and the 32 percent gain of larger rival Visa Inc.

MasterCard has returned more than 1,600 percent including dividends since its May 2006 initial public offering, dwarfing the 66 percent total return for the broader S&P 500 Index during that span.

The new share buyback program takes effect after the $2 billion plan is complete. MasterCard had $514 million of shares remaining under the current program, according to the statement.

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