When a company gets much too rich for it’s own good, it’s time to do as Seagate is doing today: repurchasing a whole lot of shares in their own company. Here Seagate has decided that because of their confidence in their own ability to generate cash at this time, they’ll pick up $2.5 billion (of the $3.5 billion they’re actually authorized) in outstanding ordinary shares. Seagate will be repurchasing this stock with a combination of cash on hand, future cash flow from operations, and “potential alternative sources” whatever that ends up being.
Seagate has also noted that they’ll be starting the repurchase program relatively soon and that it’s all due to an April 2012 Authorization which, again, includes $3.5 billion in repurchases if they do so choose to move forward. This new deal also takes out and cancels Seagate’s previous program called their Anti-Dilution Share Repurchase Program which has been on the books since February 1st all the way back in 2010.
See: Is Google’s Stock Split or Apple’s Dividend Stock better for investors? for more information on what’s going on here, in a very basically similar sense.
This is not the first repurchase program we’ve reported in the last few weeks, nor is it the first announcement of a company noting that they’re doing so well that they’ve got to figure out what to do with all the cash they’re holding. Seagate isn’t quite in a position where they can start throwing cash back at their stockholders, but repurchasing stocks is generally a good sign on the whole anyway. We recently saw Google do a big stock split and Apple do a buyback program as well with dividends for stock holders currently holding on to options through the future.