By Colin Kellaher

 

CVS Health Corp. on Thursday said it plans to raise its dividend and buy back stock for the first time since 2017 in a bid to boost returns to shareholders.

The Woonsocket, R.I., healthcare-services giant said it will raise its annual dividend rate by 10%, to $2.20 from $2, effective with the next dividend in February.

The new payout represents an annual yield of about 2.36% based on Wednesday's closing price of $93.10, up from about 2.15%.

CVS said it also has authorized a $10 billion share-repurchase program, which it will be used to at least offset share count dilution next year.

CVS, which has about 1.32 billion shares outstanding, sports a market capitalization of nearly $123 billion.

Shares of CVS rose about 2.5% in premarket trading Thursday.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 09, 2021 07:18 ET (12:18 GMT)

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