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Lam Hikes Dividend by 11%, Announces $2B Share Repurchase

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Lam Research Corporation (LRCX - Free Report) announced that its board of directors has approved a new share repurchase program worth $2 billion.

The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 11%. Headquartered in Fremont, CA, Lam has been consistently rewarding its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. 

Twin Shareholder-friendly Moves

Lam, one of the largest global manufacturers of semiconductor equipment, raised its quarterly dividend to 50 cents per share, reflecting an increase of approximately 11% over the previous payout of 45 cents per share. The new dividend, which has been approved by the company’s board of directors, will be paid to investors on Jan 10, 2018 to stockholders on record as of Dec 6, 2017.

We believe the dividend hike not only highlights Lam’s commitment toward creating value for shareholders but also underlines the company’s financial condition and confidence in its business. It is evident from the past records that Lam has a stable dividend payment history.

The latest $2 billion share buyback program marks yet another move by Lam to add value to its stockholders. The new share repurchase plan can be executed over the next 12 to 18 months. Repurchases may be made through both public market and private transactions or may include the use of derivative contracts and structured share repurchase agreements.

Price Performance

Lam’s shares have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. Shares of the company have rallied 99.2% compared with the industry’s growth of 68.1%.

The company’s investor-friendly announcements might further give a lift to the stock.

Bottom Line

Lam has a strong capital management policy in place. The company’s initiatives are well supported by its solid cash flow generation, which in turn is driven by sustained solid operational performance.

We are impressed by Lam’s efforts toward enhancing shareholder wealth through dividends and share buybacks. During the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the company returned $73 million to its shareholders through dividends and spent approximately $155.0 million on share repurchases. Cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, and restricted cash and investment balances were $6.2 billion compared with $6.04 billion in the prior quarter.

The regular share buybacks and dividend hikes are a good way of building investor confidence as these return shareholder value. The company expects to post revenues of approximately $2.55 billion (+/- $100 million) in the upcoming quarter. The increase in dividend indicates that the company is heading toward strong growth.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Currently, Lam Research has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). A few better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA - Free Report) and SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (SGH - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings per share growth rate for NVIDIA Corporation, SMART Global and Applied Materials is projected to be 11.2%, 15.0% and 17.1%, respectively.

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