Delta to start dividend and share buyback

Delta Air Lines announced Wednesday, May 8, 2013, Delta Air Lines announced Wednesday, May 8, 2013, that it will start paying a quarterly dividend and buy back some of its shares. This Delta jet is flying over the company's billboard at Citi Field. (April 6, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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MINNEAPOLIS - Delta Air Lines Inc. says it will start paying a quarterly dividend and buy back some of its shares -- investor-friendly moves that are common in other industries but rare for airlines.

Delta said on Wednesday that it will pay a quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share starting Sept. 10. If it keeps paying a dividend of that size, the yield would be 1.3 percent per year.

The airline also plans to buy back $500 million of its stock by June 30, 2016. That returns cash to shareholders, while also boosting the company's per-share earnings by reducing the outstanding shares.

Of the large U.S. airlines, only Southwest Airlines Co. pays a dividend, of one penny per quarter.

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