Verizon plans $3.6 billion share buy-back
The second-largest US telecoms group, Verizon Communications is to buy back as many as 100 million of its shares, returning cash to investors.
The buy-back, equal to about 3.6% of Verizon’s outstanding shares, could cost as much as $3.62 billion at Wednesday’s closing price. Verizon’s stock rose 29 cents to $36.45 in late trade on Thursday. The shares had gained 30 per cent in the 12 months before that.
Verizon Wireless began taking pre-orders from existing customers on Thursday for Apple’s iPhone, which goes on sale on February 10 ending a three-year exclusive network agreement between AT&T and Apple in the US.
AT&T, Verizon’s main rival, announced plans to buy back as many as 300 million shares in December with no expiration date. US companies have been increasing their share buy-back programmes during the past year. Data from Birinyi Associates, the stock market research firm, indicate US companies announced share buy-back authorizations totaling $373.4bn in 2010.