HP Boosts Buyback

HP announced plans to buy back an additional $4 billion in stock after the close on Thursday.

HP repurchased $2.1 billion of its shares in its first three fiscal quarters ended July 31. The company has about $800 million remaining under its September 2004 buyback plan.

HP said the share buyback will offset dilution from employee stock options and return cash to shareholders. The company had $14.5 billion in cash on hand at the end of the July quarter, and it also pays shareholders a 1.2% dividend.

The buyback comes a week after HP reported stellar results. Shares of HP climbed more than 1% Thursday.

The broader market edged higher as oil prices stabilized and traders awaited appearances Friday and Saturday by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.

The Nasdaq rose 5 to 2134, the S&P added 2 to 1212, and the Dow rose 15 to 10,450. Volume declined to 1.59 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.35 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-13 on the NYSE, and 16-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 60% on the NYSE, and 57% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 78-31 on the NYSE, and 60-38 on the Nasdaq.

Intuit fell 5.6% on the company’s results and concern about competition from Microsoft .

TiVo plunged 15% after the company reduced profitability expectations.

Tech Data was unchanged on its results.

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