By  on September 23, 2008

Nike Inc. is bullish about athletic footwear and apparel stocks — its own, that is.

The Beaverton, Ore.-based athleticwear giant said it would continue to buy back its own shares and put a new four-year, $5 billion program in place to purchase Class B common stock. The initiative will take over when the current $3 billion share repurchase program, approved in June 2006, is wrapped up. As of July 28, when Nike filed its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm had repurchased 38.6 million of its shares for $2.1 billion. The authorization will end once the $3 billion is spent or it expires in June 2010.

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