Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai leaves federal court on October 30, 2023 in Washington, DC. Pichai testified Monday to defend his company in the biggest antitrust case since the 1990s.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Alphabet said Thursday that it issued a 20-cent-per-share dividend, the first in company history, and that its board authorized share buybacks of up to $70 billion.

The company’s move comes after Meta’s board authorized its first dividend in February. Google’s parent company had $108 billion in cash and marketable securities as of March 31, 2024.

Shares jumped 15% in after-hours trading. The news was announced alongside better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

Alphabet authorized buybacks of an identical size exactly a year ago, during a period of intense cost-cutting and layoffs.

The dividend is payable on all classes of shares, including Class B Super Voting Shareholders as well as Class C Non-Voting Shareholders. Most Google investors own the company through Class A shares. All shareholders of record as of June 10 will receive the dividend that month.

Co-founder Sergey Brin, who owns more than 730 million Class B and C shares, will receive a payout of $146 million. Co-founder Larry Page, who owns 389 million Class B shares, will receive a $78 million dividend.

Investors are looking for signs of maturity from tech companies. Every major tech firm announced layoffs and cost-cutting at the start of 2022. Investors rewarded those efforts and showed a similar reaction with share buybacks and the initiation of dividends. When Meta announced its first dividend in February, it helped push shares up more than 14%.

It should be noted that Amazon has never issued a dividend, nor has it ever authorized a share buyback close to the size of Google’s. Amazon’s largest share buyback in 2022 was for up to $10 billion.

Amazon is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

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