Caterpillar approved a $7.5 billion share repurchase program and expects to complete the authorization within a five-year period. This is the company’s fourth stock repurchase program since 1995. In past programs, Caterpillar gave stockholders a total of $8.5 billion.
Within the next few months, the company hopes to complete its current stock repurchase program, valued at $6.4 billion, which began in October 2003. Purchases under the new authorization will begin once the current program has been completed. As a result, there will be 640 million outstanding shares.
“The new authorization underlines our confidence in the long-term growth prospects of our company and in our ability to continue to generate strong cash flows to grow our business and to enhance stockholder value,” says Jim Owens, chairman and chief executive officer of Caterpillar.