(By Mani) Carnival Corp. & Plc (NYSE: CCL) (NYSE: CUK) (LSE: CCL) said it has renewed its authorization for the repurchase of up to $1 billion of its common stock and declared a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share, payable on March 15, 2013 to shareholders of record on Feb. 22, 2013.
The company has repurchased two million shares of common stock valued at $78 million since the start of fiscal 2013, bringing the total amount purchased to date under the September 2007 $1 billion authorization to $835 million. Yesterday, the company's board of directors increased the remaining $165 million repurchase authorization to $1 billion.
"Our ongoing share repurchase program demonstrates our continued confidence in the earnings power of our global brands," said Micky Arison, CEO. "We remain committed to increasing shareholder returns through a combination of dividend distributions and opportunistic share repurchases."
Carnival is the largest cruise company in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK). Together, these brands operate 100 ships totaling 203,000 lower berths with nine new ships scheduled to be delivered between March 2013 and March 2016.
Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.