CBS Boosts Dividend 20%, Expands Share Repurchase Program

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CBS Corp. boosted its quarterly dividend by 20 percent to 18 cents a share, continuing its practice of buying back stock with the proceeds from spinoffs of non-TV businesses.

The new rate will take effect Oct. 1, according to a statement Thursday. The network also expanded its share buyback program to a total availability of $6 billion. The program had $1 billion remaining as of June 30.

CBS, the most-watched U.S. TV network, has spent about $5 billion on share repurchases in the past two years, helping earnings per share grow from a year earlier in every quarter during that period.

This month CBS Radio Inc., a division of CBS, filed for an initial public offering of $100 million. Once the IPO is done, CBS plans to use its remaining stock in the radio division as currency to buy back its own shares, according to a filing. In 2014, CBS offered stock in its outdoor advertising division for its own common shares. The IPO of the outdoor division and its conversion into a real estate investment trust was expected to provide CBS with $5 billion for repurchases and acquisitions, according to estimates at the time.

CBS reports quarterly earnings after the market closes Thursday.