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Northrop Grumman adds $4B to stock repurchase

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) -- Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. said Thursday that its board approved the repurchase of another $4 billion in stock, and it plans to buy back a quarter of its outstanding shares by the end of 2015.

The company is now authorized to spend about $5 billion on stock repurchases. Northrop Grumman had 235.2 million shares as of April 19.

Northrop Grumman shares reached an all-time high of $79.60 on Thursday, and closed at $79.02, down 41 cents. In aftermarket trading the stock picked up 48 cents to $79.50.

On Wednesday the company raised its quarterly cash dividend to 61 cents from 55 cents per share.