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Eli Lilly OKs $1.5B share buyback, 1Q dividend

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co. said Monday that its board authorized a $1.5 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete next year.

All purchases under the new buyback program will be made on the open market. The company recently completed a $3 billion share repurchase program begun in 2000.

In a separate development, Lilly announced it will pay a first-quarter dividend of 49 cents per share. The dividend will be paid out March 8 to shareholders as of Feb. 15.

Shares of Eli Lilly and Co. fell 55 cents to $47.79 in after-hours trading. They closed at $48.34, up 55 cents, in the regular session.