Cash Management

Big Week for Buybacks

St. Paul Travelers, Cardinal Health, TJX, Wesco International, MBIA, U.S. Bancorp.
Stephen TaubFebruary 2, 2007

St. Paul Travelers has announced that in the most recent quarter, it spent $750 million to repurchase 14.4 million common shares under its existing $2 billion buyback program. The insurer’s board also authorized a $3 billion increase to the program, raising the total authorization remaining to approximately $3.9 billion, or 11 percent of the company’s total shares outstanding. St. Paul Travelers plans to complete this authorization during the next 24 months.”

Cardinal Health increased its share-repurchase authorization, previously $3 billion, to $4.5 billion, or more than 15 percent of its total market capitalization. Cardinal previously disclosed that it would fund the buyback with proceeds from the sale of its Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services segment. So far during fiscal 2007, which ends in June, the company has repurchased nearly $1 billion in shares under this authorization.

Off-price retailer TJX will repurchase up to $1 billion worth of stock, representing about 7.5 percent of common shares outstanding, from time to time. The new authorization, which has no expiration date, supplements the $436 million remaining under the company’s $1 billion October 2005 authorization, which the company expects to complete this fiscal year. Since 1997, the TJX board has approved eight buyback programs, and the company has paid $4.8 billion for the repurchase of 309 million shares.

The board of Wesco International, a provider of electrical products, construction materials, and supply procurement outsourcing services, has authorized a stock-repurchase program of up to $400 million, slightly more than 12 percent of its market capitalization.

Insurer MBIA plans to repurchase up to $1 billion worth of outstanding shares, nearly 10 percent of the total. The company’s new program replaces the board’s August 2004 authorization, which had approximately 5 million shares remaining.

U.S. Bancorp will use some proceeds of a $3 billion private placement of floating-rate convertible senior debentures to fund the repurchase of up to 14 million common shares, though this will be less than 0.8 percent of its total shares outstanding.

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting