Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized the corporation to repurchase up to 100 million shares of its common stock.
The board also determined that no additional shares may be acquired under a previously approved program to repurchase up to 80 million shares. Under the previous program, which was due to end Feb. 28, 2006, approval remained to purchase approximately 62.6 million shares.
Approximately 2.93 billion shares of Verizon common stock are outstanding following the merger with MCI, Inc.
Under the plan approved today by the board, Verizon's senior officers have the option to repurchase shares for the corporation over time, with the amount and timing of repurchases depending on market conditions and corporate needs. The company may also, from time to time, enter into a Rule 10b5-1 plan to facilitate repurchases of its shares under this authorization. A Rule 10b5-1 plan permits the company to repurchase shares at times when it might otherwise be prevented from doing so, provided the plan is adopted when the company is not aware of material non-public information.
The authorization to repurchase shares terminates when the aggregate number of shares repurchased reaches 100 million or at the close of business on Feb. 28, 2008, whichever is earlier.