General Motors (GM) announced it will resume dividend payments, capping a remarkable turnaround since its 2009 bailout by the US government.
GM will pay a dividend of 30 cents per share, the first since July 2008.
The company filed for bankruptcy at the height of the global financial crisis and was rescued after the government pumped in billions of dollars.
But the firm has since seen a strong recovery, led by a jump in sales in key markets such as the US and China.
On Tuesday, GM said it sold 9.71 million vehicles in 2013, an increase of 4% on the year before.
GM announced it will resume dividend payments, capping a remarkable turnaround since its 2009 bailout by the US government
“This return to shareholders is consistent with our capital priorities, and is an important signal of confidence in our plans for a continuing profitable future,” Dan Ammann, GM’s chief financial officer, said in a statement.
GM, like other global car makers, has benefited from the ongoing recovery in the global car market.
Car sales in key markets such as China and US have been rising – recovering from the slump seen in the years following the global financial crisis.
According to data released over the past few days, auto sales in China, the world’s biggest car market, jumped 14% in 2013 to 21.98 million vehicles.
Sales in the US – the world’s second-biggest market – are also expected to have hit 15.6 million units last year – up from 10.4 million units 2009.
Analysts said that GM had been able to tap into the growth in both the emerging as well as developed economies, which had helped boost its recovery.
Technology giant Apple has announced it will use its cash to start paying a dividend to shareholders and to buy back some of its shares.
Apple said it would pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share from July.
The company will buy back up to $10 billion of its own shares starting in the company’s next financial year, which begins on 30 September 2012.
At the end of 2011, Apple revealed it had $97.6 billion in cash. It expects to use $45 billion over the next three years.
It is the first time Apple has declared a dividend since 1995.
Apple has announced it will use its cash to start paying a dividend to shareholders and to buy back some of its shares
“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.
“You’ll see more of all of these in the future.
“Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase programme.”
Apple shares have surged to about $600 in recent days, making it the world’s most valuable company, with a stock market value of more than $500bn. Ten years ago, the shares were trading at about $10.
Booming sales of iPhones and iPads have helped the firm build up its huge cash pile.
“This is consistent with what we, and I think most, expected them to do, which is to address shareholder concerns around the huge cash stockpile while retaining enough of a reserve to keep a wide range of strategic options on the table,” said John Jackson from CCS Insight.
“This, plus the buyback, should continue to bolster the soaring share price.”