At its annual meeting of shareholders in North Charleston, IBM Corp. today announced it is raising its dividend 13 percent and repurchasing $7 billion more of its stock under a new buyback program. IBM said it’s boosting its quarterly payout by a dime to 85 cents. The technology products and services company says this is the 17th year in a row it has increased its dividend.

The additional funds for IBM’s stock buybacks are in addition to $5.7 billion that was left from an earlier program. Buying back shares can make an existing stockholder’s stake more valuable. The higher dividend rate is payable on June 9 to shareholders of record as of May 10.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based company has about 1.16 billion shares outstanding.

Its meeting of shareholders began at 10 a.m. at the Charleston Area Convention Center.

IBM moves the event around each year to different cities. The meeting was held in North Charleston once before, in 2005.

See Wednesday’s editions of The Post and Courier for more details.