St. Jude Medical’s (NYSE:STJ) announced that it has approval from its board of directors to buy back up to $700 million shares’ worth of its outstanding common stock, reporting in tandem that it expects to meet its revenue and per-share earnings guidance for the year.
The news made few waves on Wall Street when it was announced on December 9. STJ shares opened yesterday morning at $59.72 and closed at $59.11, a 1% drop on the day. Shares were up about 0.5% to $59.42 as of about 3:15 p.m. today.
"This share repurchase program reflects our confidence in the continued growth of St. Jude Medical’s business, our sustainable free cash flow and our commitment to enhancing shareholder value," president & CEO Daniel Starks said in prepared remarks.
St. Jude has bought back some $3 billion in share repurchases since 2010, the company noted.
In a separate announcement, the Minnesota medtech titan reported a 4th-quarter dividend of 25¢ per common share, equal to the 1st 3 quarters of the year to bring the year’s per-share total to $1. St. Jude plans to pay out on Jan. 31, 2014, for "shareholders of record" as of Dec. 31, 2013.
The Minnesota medtech giant expects to close its 2013 fiscal year within the range of its prior guidance, with per-share earnings between 53¢-55¢ for Q4 and $2.61-$2.63 for the year. Excluding special charges, adjusted per-share earnings should amount to 95¢-97¢ in Q4 and $3.72-$3.74 for the year, according to a an SEC filing.
Special charges for the 4th quarter alone included $25-$40 million in employee termination costs and $45-$50 million in asset write-downs. The layoffs stem from a 2012 restructuring program, for which additional actions were approved in Q4 2013, St. Jude said.