Sun Microsystems announced today that its board of directors has authorised the repurchase of up to $3bn worth of the company's outstanding common shares.
The plan is designed in part to reduce the "dilutive effect" of Sun's equity compensation programmes which reward staff with shares, the company said.
Mike Lehman, chief financial officer and executive vice president of corporate resources at Sun, said: "With over $5.4bn in cash and marketable debt securities, we have maintained a strong balance sheet and feel confident that this programme will allow us to further pursue strategic opportunities for growth."
The stock repurchase authorisation does not have an expiration date and the pace of repurchase activity will depend on factors such as levels of cash generation from operations, cash requirements for acquisitions, repayment of debt, current stock price and other factors.
Sun added that it may repurchase shares from "time to time" on the open market or in private transactions, including structured transactions.
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