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L-3 Communications raises dividend, ups buyback

NEW YORK (AP) -- L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.'s board authorized a 10 percent increase in its dividend and a $1.5 billion stock buyback program.

The defense contractor said Tuesday that it will pay a 55 cent dividend — up a nickel from the last quarter — on March 15 to shareholders of record March 1. L-3 said the higher payout represents its ninth straight annual dividend increase.

In addition, the company's board authorized the repurchase of up to $1.5 billion worth of shares through June 2015. L-3 said it expects to fund the purchases with cash on hand and cash generated from operations.

Shares of the company ended trading up 90 cents at $75.76. They rose an additional 21 cents to $75.97 in after-hours trading following the announcement. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $63.74 and $79.80.