American Express (AXP) said Monday that it plans to repurchase up to 150 million shares of its own stock, in accordance with a proposal approved earlier this month by federal regulators.
In addition, the New York-based credit card issuer said it would raise its quarterly dividend by 15% starting in the second quarter.
AmEx's capital distribution plan was approved March 14 by the Federal Reserve Board.
The plan allows AmEx to repurchase up to $3.2 billion common shares during the last three quarters of the year, and to raise its dividend to 23 cents per share in the second quarter.
The company originally sought the Fed's blessing for plans to repurchase up to $4.7 billion of shares during the last three quarters of 2013. But that initial plan was rejected, as the Fed concluded that it would have dropped American Express' capital ratios below the minimum thresholds in the event of a severe economic downturn.
American Express stated that its own internal analysis reached a more favorable conclusion. Still, the company revised and resubmitted its plan, which contains a less aggressive share repurchase program.