Walmart to buyback 15 billion USD shares

13:54, June 04, 2011      

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, plans to repurchase 15 billion U.S. dollars of its shares, the company announced Friday at its 41st annual meeting of shareholders.

The buyback replaces the previous 15 billion U.S. dollars share repurchase program, announced on June 4, 2010. Through June 2, under the 2010 program, Walmart had spent more than 12.9 billion U. S. dollars to buyback more than 244 million shares, the company said in a statement.

"Our purchase of almost 13 billion U.S. dollars of Walmart stock since last June is indicative of our strong free cash flow position," said Charles Holley, Walmart executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We are pleased to continue our share repurchase program with this new 15 billion U.S. dollars authorization."

In addition to share repurchase, the company continues to return value to shareholders through dividends. Walmart increased the current fiscal year dividend per share by approximately 21 percent to 1.46 U.S. dollars, from 1.21 U.S. dollars in fiscal 2011. Moreover, during the first quarter of this year, the company distributed 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in dividends.

Analysts said that share repurchases had boosted the founding Watlton family's ownership to about 48 percent as of March from 38 percent in March 2003. The new buyback program may help the family to gain a majority of the shares by the end of next year.

Source: Xinhua

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