Abbott’s panel authorizes repurchase as high as $3 billion of common stock Abbott's table of directors offers approved a new share repurchase plan and declared a quarterly common dividend. Abbott's board has authorized the repurchase as high as $3 billion of the company's common stock. The program replaces the prior $5 billion program that was announced in October 2008 and was recently completed. The buys may be made from time to time as market conditions warrant and subject to regulatory considerations. The board declared a quarterly common dividend of 14 cents per share also. This marks the 358th consecutive quarterly dividend to become paid by Abbott since 1924. The cash dividend is usually payable August 15, 2013, on July 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business, 2013.Through this protest at CROI, we reiterate our ask Merck to do the right thing and immediately lower the cost of Isentress. In addition, protesters will bring several three-foot by four-foot sandwich table advertisements parodying a protective full page, four color print ad that Merck released last month in the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Chronicle defending its AIDS drug pricing and guidelines. Merck published that advertisement during a similar protest spearheaded by AHF that took place last month during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Investor Meeting at the Westin St. Francis Resort.