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HP spends $1.3bn on its own shares

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Ink giant HP has spent $1.3bn on buying its own shares. The accelerated share repurchase scheme was carried out through Merrill Lynch - in effect HP buys the shares now and the investment bank buys them from the open market over the next few months.

HP's board of directors has set aside another $3bn "repurchase shares opportunistically". It xpects to spend $2.1bn on its own shares in the fourth quarter, representing four per cent of total outstanding shares.

Carly Fiorina, HP chairman and chief executive, said: "HP has accelerated its share repurchases in recent quarters and today's announcement signals our intent to aggressively repurchase shares in the immediate future. We believe that at current price levels, HP shares represent an attractive investment,"

HP previously spent $8.1bn buying back its shares between November 1998 and October 2000. HP shares peaked at over $60 in early 2000 before falling to less than $20 by mid-200, they are currently trading at $18.60, up nearly three per cent on the day. The press release is here. ®

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