Polo Board OKs Additional Stock Buyback

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp has the authorization to buy back a total of $569 million of its own stock.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.’s board approved a new $250 million program to repurchase its class A stock, subject to market conditions.

This story first appeared in the August 9, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company also had $319 million available under previous programs at the end of the first quarter on July 3. That means the company has the authorization to buy back a total of $569 million of its own stock. The shares acquired will be held in its treasury for future use.

Polo has plenty of funds to cover the programs, with cash and cash equivalents of $345.8 million and short-term investments of $644.9 million as of last month. The stock closed Friday at $85.79, up $1.50 or 1.8 percent, and over the last year has traded as high as $95.59, on April 26, and as low as $63.13, on Aug. 17.

Last fiscal year, Polo acquired 2.9 million of its own stock for $216 million. And the firm picked the pace up dramatically in the first quarter, snapping up 2.7 million shares for $231 million, which included the purchase of 1 million shares from chairman and chief executive officer Ralph Lauren.

At the end of the first quarter, on July 3, the weighted number of average diluted shares outstanding was 99.9 million.