IBM Corp. is increasing its dividend payout by 18 percent and buying back more of its stock — two moves designed to boost the company's share price.

The technology company said Tuesday at its annual shareholders meeting, held this year in Milwaukee, that it is raising the quarterly dividend payout to 65 cents per share. It had been 55 cents a share for the past four quarters.

IBM has developed a habit of announcing dividend increases at its shareholder meetings. The per-share payout has more than tripled since 2006.

IBM also said its board has authorized $8 billion for buying back its stock. The company now has $10 billion available for that purpose.

IBM shares rose 36 cents to $131.09 in morning trading.

IBM's decision to return more cash to its shareholders provides another sign of confidence from the technology sector as it rebounds from the recession. Last week IBM increased its profit forecast for 2010.

Other positive signs have come this month from tech bellwethers such as Intel Corp., which reported a 44 percent jump in revenue for the first quarter.