Nike to Buy Back $8 Billion of Its Shares

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) became the latest company to return money to shareholders as the economy falters. It joins a raft of firms from AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) to Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Nike said it will buy back $8 billion worth of shares. The dividend and buy back activity of major companies has risen this year as more and more investors question what public firms with billions of dollars on their balance sheet should do if that cash has no immediate and apparent usefulness. Nike bragged about its record as a shareholder friendly company when it announced its:

Board of Directors has approved a new four-year, $8 billion program to repurchase shares of NIKE's Class B Common Stock. The Company's current $5 billion share repurchase program will be completed during the second quarter of fiscal 2013, and the new program will commence upon the completion of the current program.

"We believe repurchasing our shares is a prudent use of our cash and are pleased to extend NIKE's track record of returning value to shareholders through sustained share repurchases," said Mark Parker, NIKE, Inc. President and CEO. "Over the past 10 years, NIKE, Inc. has returned $10 billion to shareholders through the repurchase of more than 167 million shares. This new share repurchase program demonstrates our continued confidence in NIKE's strategy to generate long-term profitable growth and strong cash flow, and reflects our commitment to delivering value to our shareholders."

Douglas A. McIntyre

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Stock Buybacks