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Whole Foods Market (WFM) Board Authorizes Additional $300M Of Stock Repurchase

 November 20, 2012 10:16 AM


(By Balaseshan) Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM), which operates natural and organic foods supermarkets, said its board of directors has approved an additional $300 million of stock buyback authority through December 31, 2014.

The company has about $171 million of authority remaining under its existing program through November 1, 2013.

The company had about 185.5 million shares outstanding as of November 16, 2012. The $471 million combined authorization represents about 3% of shares outstanding at the current stock price.

The company has recently announced a 43% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.20 per share and plans to create additional value for its shareholders through utilization of its stock repurchase authority.

[Related -Five Top Dividend Stocks With No Debt But High Cash On Balance Sheet]

"With $1.3 billion in available cash, we are well positioned to maintain a healthy cash reserve while internally funding our accelerated new store growth plans," said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market.

In fiscal 2012, the company had sales of about $12 billion and currently has 343 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The company's stores average 38,000 square feet in size and 10 years in age, and are supported by its Austin headquarters, regional offices, distribution centers, bakehouse facilities, commissary kitchens, seafood-processing facilities, meat and produce procurement centers, and a specialty coffee, tea procurement and roasting operation.

[Related -Income Trade On Discounted Grocer Could Earn 70% By 2015]

WFM is trading up 0.59% at $91.95 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $62.77 and $101.86 for the past 52 weeks.

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