NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- Freight railroad operator Norfolk Southern Corp. said Friday it is raising its dividend and increasing its share-repurchase program.
The company said its board approved a 6 percent hike to its quarterly dividend, to 50 cents. It will be payable Sept. 10 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 13.
The board also approved buying back an additional 50 million shares of stock through 2017. That raises authorized buybacks to 175 million shares, the company said.
Since the beginning of those programs in 2006, Norfolk Southern said it has repurchased about 122 million shares for $7.1 billion.
Norfolk Southern had about 320 million outstanding shares on June 30.
Last week, the company reported that second-quarter profit fell 6 percent to $524 million, due to a 15 percent decline in coal shipments. Utilities are buying less coal because they're switching to cheaper natural gas for some of their power generation.
Norfolk Southern shares fell 74 cents to close at $73.31. In the past year, they have ranged from $57.57 to $78.50.