Monsanto to buy back shares worth $2 bn; pay dividend

US biotechnology major Monsanto Company today announced a new three-year share repurchase programme and declared a quarterly dividend, underscoring its commitment to return value to shareholders.

The new buy-back programme is in addition to Monsanto's $1 billion ongoing share repurchase programme, the compay said in a release today.

Monsanto's board authorised a new share repurchase programme, for up to $2 billion of the company's common stock, over a three-year period effective 1 July 2013. The new programme will commence at the completion of Monsanto's existing $1 billion share repurchase programme, which began in July 2012.

Monsanto will pay a dividend of 37.5 cents per share on the company's common stock for the third quarter of its 2013 fiscal year. The dividend is payable on 26 July 2013 to shareowners whose names appear on the company's register of shareholders on 5 July 2013.

"The strong business performance we've achieved has allowed us the opportunity to evolve our cash deployment approach as we look to return more value to our shareowners," said Pierre Courduroux, chief financial officer for Monsanto.

"As we continue to grow our global business, we will use the strength of our cash position to both grow our business through investments, as well as returning cash to shareowners in the form of dividends and share repurchases," Courduroux added.

Monsanto will release its third-quarter earnings on 26 June.