PARIS BOURSE APPROVES BUYBACKS

PARIS — LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Pinault-Printemps-Redoute might not agree on much, but they apparently are in accord on the timing of stock buyback programs.
The quarrelsome French luxury giants last week each received permission from the Paris Bourse to repurchase up to 10 percent of their outstanding shares. Shareholders of the two firms will hear details at their annual meetings, scheduled for May 14 in LVMH’s case and May 18 for PPR.
The LVMH buyback would authorize the company to buy up to 10 percent of the nearly 490 million shares outstanding at prices ranging from $44.56 to $124.77 a share. PPR’s program would allow for up to 10 percent of its 118.8 million shares to be repurchased at anywhere from $142.59 to $285.18 a share.
(Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at the current exchange rates.)
Stock buyback, or repurchase, programs move equity from the public to the corporate realm and, in the process, lower the number of shares outstanding. This serves to drive up earnings per share and, through subsequent offerings back to the public, allows companies to derive financial benefits if their stock prices move up.

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