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Zoetis to repurchase $2B of stock, declares 30% higher dividend for Q1'19

Zoetis Inc. said its board authorized a $2 billion multiyear share repurchase program.

The program, part of the company's plan to return excess capital to shareholders, may be cancelled at any time.

The Parsippany, N.J.-based animal health company's previous $1.5 billion share repurchase program, which was approved in December 2016, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.

Zoetis also declared a first quarter 2019 dividend of 16.4 cents per share, up 30% from the quarterly dividend rate paid in 2018. The dividend is to be paid March 1, 2019, to holders of record of the company's common stock on Jan. 18, 2019.

Zoetis develops and sells veterinary vaccines and medicines.