Applied Materials announces new $10 billion share buyback plan, hikes dividend

:Applied Materials, which makes equipment to produce chips, said on Monday that its board has approved a new $10 billion share repurchase scheme, and also raised its quarterly dividend.

Shares of the Santa Clara, California-based company rose more than 1 per cent in trading before the bell.

The newly approved buyback scheme adds to its previous authorization, which had $4.7 billion remaining at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2023, the company said.

Applied Materials said its board also approved a 23 per cent increase in its quarterly dividend, the largest in five years, to 32 cents per share, up from 26 cents per share.

The semiconductor industry has been facing a downturn in demand for chips used in personal computers and mobile devices, although, in a bright spot, demand from data center and automotive sectors has been steady.

Last month, Applied Materials forecast quarterly revenue that was largely above analysts’ expectations as it benefited from resilient demand for its tools used to make chips for the automotive and artificial intelligence industries.

Applied Materials said its services business has become larger and more subscription-based helping its revenue and profitability become more predictable.

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