AbbVie to buy back $10 billion of shares, raises dividend

FILE PHOTO -- A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - AbbVie Inc ABBV.N said on Thursday its board had approved a $10 billion stock repurchase program, and the drugmaker also increased its quarterly dividend, as it reaped the benefits of U.S. tax law changes.

The Chicago-based company’s shares were up nearly 1 percent at $114.04 in mid-afternoon trading.

AbbVie, which forecast an adjusted effective 2018 tax rate of 9 percent last month, joins other companies such as Pfizer Inc PFE.N and Boeing BA.N in announcing share buybacks and dividend raise.

The largest U.S. tax overhaul in 30 years includes cuts to corporate tax rates and delivers a windfall to major U.S. companies.

AbbVie said it was raising its quarterly dividend to 96 cents per share from 71 cents.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel