Dell Board OKs Share Repurchase Plan

Dell Inc. is reviving plans to buy back shares in the company and will begin to repurchase $10 billion in common stock this week, chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell said Tuesday.

Dell had suspended its buyback program in August 2006 until it could file a backlog of earnings reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chief Financial Officer Don Carty said there was no time frame for the repurchase plan. He said the company has $15 billion in cash and is generating another $1 billion per quarter that could be put toward the repurchase.

As of Oct. 19, Dell had about 2.24 billion shares outstanding.

"Dell is committed to a long-term share repurchase program as part of an overall capital allocation plan that supports growth and also returns value to shareholders," Dell said in a statement.

At a shareholders meeting Tuesday in Round Rock, investors also approved several measures, including:

  • The election of Carty and 10 other directors;
  • A shareholder proposal regarding executive stock ownership guidelines; and
  • The selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as Dell's independent auditor for fiscal 2008.

The company's delayed restatements, filed in October, reduced profits by $92 million for fiscal years 2003 through 2006, as well as the first quarter of fiscal 2007. The restatements were the result of an internal accounting probe, which found employees had misled auditors and manipulated results to meet performance goals.

Last week, Dell posted a 27 percent jump in third quarter earnings sparked by growth in overseas markets like Brazil, solid demand for notebooks and falling prices for memory chips and other components.

Despite double-digit growth overseas, Dell reported a 6 percent drop in orders from U.S. consumers amid competition with Hewlett-Packard Co. and other rivals.

Dell shares, which have ranged from $21.61 to $30.77 in the past year, were down 1 cent to $23.93 in midday trading Tuesday.

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