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Marriott increases stock buyback authorization

BETHESDA — Marriott more than doubled the number of shares it may buy back, with authorization now reaching 40 million.

The hotel company on Thursday authorized the repurchase of an additional 25 million shares after spending $1.5 billion to buy 24 million shares of its own shares last year.

The Bethesda company, which owns Courtyard and Residence Inn, also declared a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on March 27 to shareholders of record on Feb. 27.

Shares of Marriott International Inc. rose $1.75, or 2.3 percent, to $78.77 afternoon trading.