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IBM Board of Directors Authorizes $15 Billion for Stock Repurchase


The IBM (NYSE: IBM) board of directors today authorized $15 billion in additional funds for use in the company’s stock repurchase program.
This amount is in addition to approximately $0.4 billion remaining at the end of February from a prior authorization. With this new authorization, IBM will have approximately $15.4 billion for its stock repurchase program.

IBM said it expects to spend up to $12 billion on stock repurchases in 2008. The company said it may repurchase shares on the open market or in private transactions depending on market conditions, and that it expects to use cash from operations for the repurchases.

Bank cover purchases under the company’s $12.5 billion accelerated share repurchase program, announced in May 2007, will conclude on February 28.

“IBM’s profitable growth and consistently strong cash flow enable the company to continue to return value to our shareholders. Stock repurchase is not only one of the ways we deliver this value, it is also one of the key elements of IBM’s 2010 roadmap for earnings per share growth,” said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.

In January, the company said it expected 2008 full-year earning per share of $8.20 to $8.30. Today, IBM said the anticipated share repurchase activity could add up to $.05 to 2008 full-year earnings per share. The company now expects full-year 2008 earnings per share of at least $8.25, or year-to-year growth of 16 percent. The actual earnings per share impact will depend on the total amount spent, the timing of repurchases and market conditions.

At this time IBM does not anticipate requesting board approval for additional funds for stock repurchases within the next 12 months.


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