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Intel, whose stock is a component of the Dow Jones industrial average, has one of that group’s highest-yielding dividends. Intel’s annual yield currently stands at 3 percent of its stock price. Intel said the new dividend will take effect in the first quarter of next year. The company ended the latest quarter with nearly $15 billion in cash and short-term investments, nearly $3 billion more than it had the quarter before.

Intel is taking in far more than it’s giving back through the dividend. At the new, higher rate, Intel will be paying about $1 billion a quarter in dividends, based on the latest share count. That’s up from about $900 million per quarter at the lower rate.

Doug Freedman, an analyst with Gleacher & Co., said Intel’s boost was higher than he expected. He noted that as the semiconductor and other tech industries have matured, and the supercharged growth of the dot-com days and earlier eras has slipped away, dividends have become more important as a way to reward investment.

“If you’re investing in tech, you really need to start paying more attention to dividend yields as much as you want to pay attention to growth,” Freedman said. “What Intel’s doing with their dividend is more about their business model than optimism about the market or top-line numbers. With no growth, Intel can support that dividend yield.”


AP Business Writer Andrew Vanacore contributed to this story from New York.