Tuesday, October 18, 2011

By the numbers | Tracking the stock buyback

On July 18, Corporate disclosed that the board of directors had approved the resumption of a $1 billion stock repurchase program, where the company can buy GCI shares when prices are low. Yesterday, Corporate gave Wall Street a progress report on third-quarter buybacks with the quarterly earnings statement. Key numbers:

million: number of shares repurchased

closing price of GCI stock yesterday

average price per share Corporate paid for Q3 buybacks

closing stock price when buyback resumption announced

million: how much more Corporate can spend on buybacks

how much Corporate saves in annual dividends on shares just repurchased

Related: Corporate's historical GCI stock price lookup tool.


  1. why isn't this money used to pay down debt?

  2. Because one purpose of a stock buyback is to push the stock price higher -- which, in turn, can make stock options granted to executives actually worth something.

    Virtually all the options granted to CEO Martore and others in recent years are now worthless.

    Obviously, though, July's buyback announcement has not boosted GCI's price.

  3. Do those shares still have a voting interest through the management, or do they simply cease to exist for voting purposes?

  4. Why isn't it working?

  5. 3:29 I believe those shares get retired.

  6. As big a waste of capital as Heather Frank's team. Stop the insanity!

  7. We still have huge debt compared against any other metric, like revenues or equity. We need to invest in our operations by bringing on more reporters, editors, salespeople, etc., not fewer, before our audience decides we're not worth the money. Buying back stock is like fiscal masturbation.

  8. Jim said...
    3:29 I believe those shares get retired.

    The shares can be retired Jim but not usually, if they were it would make the stock buy back completely worthless. They usually buy their own shares just like any other investment vehicle (be it bonds, shares in other companies, etc.) The shares still exist but are held in the name of the company (and can be distributed to employees, etc or held by the company). The hope is that the shares will go up in value and the buy back actually earns them money and also at the same time (like you mentioned drives the value of the shares up; if the shares were retired it would reduce the shares outstanding in hopes of driving up share value, but then the value of the purchase would have to be written off as a loss because retired shares immediately become worthless) Now granted it is probably..... actually not probably but definitely the WORST use of corporate funds. To invest in Gannett other than day trading, short sales or for overall just short term profiteering, is just so fiscally irresponsible that it highlights even further how incompetently the corporation is run.

  9. A company in decline such as Gannett will buyback shares in anticipation of declining future cash flows. By reducing the number of outstanding shares that receive dividends, Gannett is able to maintain the same dividend payout and thus look as though it is still as profitable as ever. Stock buybacks are not always a good sign!


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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