UP AND AWAY: Southwest Airlines Co. is quadrupling its quarterly payout to 4 cents per share from a penny per share.
RARE BIRD: Southwest's increase followed Delta's announcement that it will start paying a dividend. They'll be the only major U.S. airlines to do that.
SHARE THE WEALTH: Southwest's board also raised the company's authority to buy back shares by 50 percent, to $1.5 billion. The airline has already bought $725 million of its own stock since 2011, so it could buy another $775 million, which would make remaining shares more valuable.