|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2015
NOTE 15. SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
Preferred and Preference Stock
We are authorized to issue one million shares each of zero par value preferred and preference stock with preferred shares being senior to preference shares. We can determine the number of shares of each series, and the rights, preferences and limitations of each series. At December 31, 2015, there was no preferred or preference stock outstanding.
Changes in shares of common stock, treasury stock and common stock held in trust for employee benefit plans were as follows:
Shares of common stock repurchased by us are recorded at cost as treasury stock and result in a reduction of shareholders' equity in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. Treasury shares may be reissued as part of our stock-based compensation programs. When shares are reissued, we use the weighted-average cost method for determining cost. The gains between the cost of the shares and the issuance price are added to additional paid-in-capital. The losses are deducted from additional paid-in capital to the extent of the gains. Thereafter, the losses are deducted from retained earnings. Treasury stock activity for the three-year period ended December 31, 2015, consisting of shares issued and repurchased is presented in our Consolidated Statements of Changes in Equity.
In July 2014, the Board of Directors authorized the acquisition of up to $1 billion of additional common stock upon completion of the 2012 repurchase program. In 2015, we made the following purchases under the respective purchase programs:
(1) The remaining authorized capacities under the 2012 and 2014 Plans were calculated based on the cost to purchase the shares, but exclude commission expenses in accordance with the authorized Plans.
In November 2015, our Board of Directors authorized the acquisition of up to $1 billion of additional common stock upon the completion of the 2014 repurchase plan. We purchased $670 million and $381 million of our common stock in the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively.
Total dividends paid to common shareholders in 2015, 2014 and 2013 were $622 million, $512 million and $420 million, respectively. Declaration and payment of dividends in the future depends upon our income and liquidity position, among other factors, and is subject to declaration by our Board of Directors, who meet quarterly to consider our dividend payment. We expect to fund dividend payments with cash from operations.
In July 2015, the Board of Directors authorized a dividend increase of 25 percent from $0.78 per share to $0.975 per share on a quarterly basis effective in the third quarter. In July 2014, the Board of Directors authorized a 25 percent increase to our quarterly cash dividend on our common stock from $0.625 per share to $0.78 per share. In July 2013, the Board of Directors approved a 25 percent increase to our quarterly cash dividend on our common stock from $0.50 per share to $0.625 per share. Cash dividends per share paid to common shareholders for the last three years were as follows:
Employee Benefits Trust
In 1997, we established the Employee Benefits Trust (EBT) funded with common stock for use in meeting our future obligations under employee benefit and compensation plans. The primary sources of cash for the EBT are dividends received on unallocated shares of our common stock held by the EBT. The EBT may be used to fund matching contributions to employee accounts in the 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) made in proportion to employee contributions under the terms of the RSP. In addition, we may direct the trustee to sell shares of the EBT on the open market to fund other non-qualified employee benefit plans. Matching contributions charged to income for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 were $25 million, $24 million and $24 million, respectively.
The entire disclosure for shareholders' equity comprised of portions attributable to the parent entity and noncontrolling interest, including other comprehensive income. Includes, but is not limited to, balances of common stock, preferred stock, additional paid-in capital, other capital and retained earnings, accumulated balance for each classification of other comprehensive income and amount of comprehensive income.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef