(Reuters) - Stock market indexes provider MSCI Inc declared its first-ever quarterly dividend and more than doubled its stock repurchase program to $850 million from $300 million.
The company said the buyback – which includes a $300 million accelerated share repurchase agreement with Goldman Sachs – and the dividend would return about $1 billion to shareholders by the end of 2016.
MSCI will pay Goldman Sachs $300 million in cash and expects to receive about 4.5 million shares of its common stock.
MSCI said it expected the rate of increase in its adjusted EBITDA expenses to be lower in 2015 from 2014.
The company, which is targeting a payout ratio of 30-40 percent of adjusted earnings per share, set a quarterly cash dividend of 18 cents per share, payable on Oct. 31.
MSCI's shares, which had gained about 7 percent this year, closed at $46.29 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Reporting By Sudarshan Varadhan and Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sriraj Kalluvila