Alphabet issues first ever dividend, $70 billion buyback

Alphabet follows Meta, which announced its first dividend in February.

Alphabet said Thursday that it’s issuing a 20-cent per share dividend, the company’s first ever, and that its board authorized the repurchase of up to $70 billion in stock.

The company’s move comes after Meta’s board authorized its first ever dividend in February. Google’s parent company had $108 billion in cash and marketable securities on hand as of March 31, 2024.

Shares shot up 15% in after hours trading. The news was announced alongside better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

Alphabet authorized an identically sized repurchase exactly one year ago, during a period of intense cost-cutting and layoffs.

The dividend is payable to all class of shares, including super-voting Class B shareholders, as well as nonvoting Class C shareholders. Most Google investors own the company through Class A shares. All shareholders of record as of June 10 will receive the dividend the same month.

Co-founder Sergey Brin, who owns more than 730 million Class B and C shares, will receive a $146 million payout. Co-founder Larry Page, who owns 389 million Class B shares, will get a dividend payment of $78 million.

Investors have been looking for signs of maturity from technology firms. Every major tech firm announced layoffs and tightened spending beginning in 2022. Investors rewarded those efforts, and have shown a similar reaction to share buybacks and dividend initiations. When Meta announced its first ever dividend in February, it helped send shares soaring more than 14%.

Notably, Amazon has never issued a dividend, nor has it ever authorized a share buyback close to the size of Google’s. Amazon’s largest share repurchase, in 2022, was for up to $10 billion.

Amazon is slated to report first-quarter earnings Tuesday.

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