IBM's board has voted to buy back a further $3.5 billion worth of its common shares, in a bid to increase earnings per share.
IBM said it will buy back the shares periodically, to take advantage of market conditions.
The decision, which comes after IBM surpassed Wall Street expectations with its third quarter earnings last week, was not unexpected by analysts. IBM made a similar move earlier this year, when it authorised the buyback of shares worth the same value, and also bought $3.5 billion worth last year.
IBM's share price has also been lifted by its announcement this week of a single Unix strategy.
While increasing earnings per share, the buyback strategy has been criticised, as each successive repurchase authorisation drives the value of the shares up, meaning fewer can be bought each time.
IBM has also been attacked for not spending excess cash on moves for generating further revenues. However, IBM executives claim enough money has been available for acquisitions or research and development of new technologies.
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