FedEx Corp.'s board authorized a new program to buy back up to 25 million shares of common stock, the package shipping company said Jan. 26.
The authorization follows the repurchase of 57.2 million shares for nearly $8 billion, for an average price of about $139 a share, since June 1, 2013.
The latest move comes at a time when FedEx shares are trading well below historic highs of last year and as the Memphis, Tennessee-based company gears up to complete its purchase of TNT Express. That $4.7 billion deal is expected to close in the first half of 2016.
“Since FY14, we have returned nearly $8 billion to shareowners through the repurchase of over 57 million shares, and we remain committed to delivering long-term value for shareowners,” Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith said in a news release. "Our profit and cash flow performance is strong, and we will continue to fund substantial investments in the business.”
The board said the purchases could be in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions.
"Repurchases will be made from time to time at the company’s discretion, based on ongoing assessments of the capital needs of the business, the market price of its common stock and general market conditions," the company said. "No time limit was set for the completion of the repurchase program, and the program may be suspended or discontinued at any time."
FedEx said a prior authorization announced in September 2014 for 15 million shares has been completed. The company had 272 million common shares outstanding as of Jan. 25.
Other authorizations have included 10.2 million announced in March 2013 and 32 million announced in October 2013.
FedEx's share price peaked around $185 last June. It closed at $127.28 on Jan. 26.