The new plan replaces a $5 billion share buyback first OK’d in October 2008, which was just completed, according to a press release.
The Abbott Park, Ill.-based healthcare giant also approved a 14¢ dividend for shareholders of record as of July 15, its 358th consecutive quarterly payout to investors, according to the release.
"Abbott’s strong cash flow has enabled it to invest in its business and return cash to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Abbott has a long history of returning value to shareholders, and since 2002, the company has delivered $31 billion in cash to its shareholders through dividends and share buybacks," the company said. "Abbott has increased its dividend payout for 41 consecutive years and is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, which tracks companies that have annually increased their dividend for 25 consecutive years."