AT&T Approves New 300M Share Buyback
The board of directors of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) declared a quarterly dividend Friday of $0.45 a share on the company's common shares. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2013, to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 10, 2013. At the same time, the board authorized the repurchase of up to 300 million shares, representing approximately 5.5 percent of AT&T common shares outstanding, with no expiration date. This authorization is in addition to two other 300 million share repurchase authorizations approved by the board of directors in December 2010 and July 2012. The company completed repurchases under the December 2010 share authorization last year.
“These actions by the board reflect our commitment to return value to our stockholders and our confidence in the future of our business. This authorization gives us the opportunity to buy back additional shares when it makes sense to do so,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. “At the same time, we have the financial strength to invest in our future through plans such as Project VIP while maintaining a solid balance sheet.”
The company expects to maintain a net-debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA1 ratio of 1.8 or lower and is committed to maintaining a single-A debt rating. Future repurchase decisions will be made opportunistically, which will slow the pace of buybacks compared to recent activity. Under the July 2012 300 million share authorization, AT&T has repurchased about 239 million of its shares through March 28, 2013. Since the company began buying back shares in 2012, AT&T has repurchased 539 million of its shares, or approximately 9 percent of shares outstanding.
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