(Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. authorized a new $6 billion share buyback plan as improving profitability in its primary business and growth in electric vehicles allow the automaker to return cash to investors.

The company plans to “opportunistically” buy its stock under the new program after completing a $10 billion accelerated share repurchase approved last November, according to a statement Tuesday. GM expects to exhaust the remaining $1.1 billion of the prior plan by the end of this quarter.

“We’re growing and improving the profitability of our EV business and deploying our capital efficiently,” while also seeing improvement in the gas-powered vehicle business, the company said. “This allows us to continue returning cash to shareholders.”

The decision builds on the momentum GM saw coming out of the first quarter, when strength in domestic truck and SUV sales helped it overcome challenges in China and raise its full-year profit forecast, and reflects management’s shift to being a value play for shareholders. The automaker is still investing in electric vehicles but the market is growing slower, so the company is returning cash to the investors.

GM has said that the biggest part of its investment in EVs, which is the building of the Ultium battery platform and the cell plants needed for the cars, has mostly been made, so it can keep making electric models while buying back shares. The automaker in January raised its quarterly dividend 33% to 12 cents a share.

The company has said its EV business will achieve an operating profit in the second half of this year as the company grows production. Next year, the automaker has targeted positive earnings before interest and taxes from its EVs.

GM’s shares rose 1% at 9:32 a.m. in New York. The stock gained 32% this year through Monday’s close.

GM isn’t alone — 42 other S&P 500 Index companies have announced buybacks this quarter, according to Gina Martin Adams, Bloomberg Intelligence’s chief equity strategist. Prior to GM’s announcement, BI found that S&P firms had increased buybacks by 5% from the same period a year ago to $210 billion. It was the second quarter of growth after five consecutive quarterly declines.

--With assistance from Anne Cronin.

(Updates with share trading in seventh paragraph. A previous version corrected the time reference for the dividend increase announcement.)

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