AT&T board OK's buyback of 300M more shares

AT&T's (NYSE: T) board of directors have given the green light to repurchase as much as $11.1 billion in stock, upping a share-buyback program the service provider launched in late 2010.

This latest buyback initiative includes up to 300 million additional shares, representing about 5 percent of AT&T's outstanding shares.

"This action allows us to continue returning cash to our shareholders through dividends and buybacks while maintaining a strong balance sheet and investing in the future of our business," Randall  Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer, said in a release announcing the latest buyback program.

AT&T's move follows its 8.7 percent increase in Q2 2012 net income. Driven by strong wireless data, U-verse, and IP-based business service growth, the telco reported revenue rose 0.3 percent to $31.6 billion from Q2 2011. Likewise, net income was $3.9 billion, compared to $3.6 billion in the same period a year ago.

In December 2010, the telco authorized the repurchase of 300 million shares. During that program, AT&T repurchased 143.5 million of its shares for approximately $4.6 billion through June 30, 2012. During the first half of this year, the company returned nearly $10 billion, including dividends, to shareholders.

For more:
- see the release
- Bloomberg has this article

Special Report: Wireline in the second quarter of 2012

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