To enable its shareholders to take part in the Company's success, SAP has paid a dividend every year since the stock was floated in 1988. Dividends are remitted without delay after the resolution on the appropriation of retained earnings, usually on the business day after the Annual General Meeting. All shareholders possessing SAP certificates at the time of the resolution on the appropriation of retained earnings are entitled to receive payment of the dividend. Next to paying a regular annual dividend, SAP has employed share repurchases for several years to continuously return excess cash to shareholders. Accordingly, SAP repurchases shares primarily for purposes of redemption and – to a lower extent – meeting its obligations arising from stock-based compensation programs.