Yahoo To Spend Billions On Buyback

Yahoo said Thursday it will spend $3 billion over the next five years buying back its stock.

With $4.6 billion in cash on hand, the buyback plan is a significant commitment by Yahoo. It replaces the company’s previous $500 million plan announced four years ago.

“This stock repurchase program demonstrates the confidence we have in our company and shows our commitment to deliver long-term shareholder value,” Yahoo CEO Terry Semel said in a statement. “The cash productivity of our business model enables us to actively invest cash in areas that we believe will drive future value for shareholders, such as stock repurchases.”

Buying back stock reduces shares outstanding and boosts the value of remaining shares, so the move will provide some support to the company’s investors. Despite all that cash, however, Yahoo did not announce plans to pay a dividend, as Applied Materials did on Wednesday.

The broader market got an early boost on Yahoo’s news and a bullish outlook from GE , but gave it all back by the close, as inflation fears continue to dominate trading.

The Nasdaq rose fractionally to 1991, the S&P 500 slipped 1 to 1171, and the Dow fell 13 to 10,442. Volume declined to 1.74 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.71 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 58% on the NYSE, and 57% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 32-57 on the NYSE, and 41-79 on the Nasdaq.

Shares of Lexar doubled after winning a court case against Toshiba.

Xyratex jumped 9% on its results, boosting shares of partner NetApp .

Adaptec fell 6.5% on a warning.

GoAmerica leapt 15% on a new Internet relay service for callers with hearing difficulties.

Symantec climbed 2% on a Morgan Stanley upgrade.

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