U.S. Markets closed

Monsanto to repurchase up to $2 billion of shares

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Monsanto Co. said Thursday that it will buy back up to $2 billion shares of the company's stock over a three-year period.

The agriculture giant said the new share repurchase program is effective July 1 and will commence at the completion of its existing $1 billion share repurchase program, which was effective beginning in July last year.

Monsanto also declared its regularly quarterly dividend of 37.5 cents per share. The dividend is payable July 26 to shareholders of record as of July 5.

The company said its strong performance has allowed the company to return more value to its shareholders. Last month Monsanto increased its full-year profit prediction, citing continued strong global demand from corn growers.

Shares of the St. Louis-based company slipped 19 cents to close at $98.72 Thursday and slipped another 31 cents in after-hours trading.