This was an active week in share repurchases, and many key stocks announced new buyback plans or gave updates to their buyback plans.  Below are the key buybacks reviewed:

  • Kenexa (Nasdaq: KNXA) announced on November 8, 2007 that it authorized the repurchase of up to 2 million shares of the company’s common stock, and it has already completed the repurchase of over 1 million shares since the approval of the repurchase program.  It only has about 25.5 million shares outstanding.
  • Edgewater Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: EDGW) announced that its Board of Directors authorized the purchase of up to $5.0 million of the Company’s common stock; approximate market cap is $87 million.
  • Harvard Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: HBIO) has authorized the repurchase of up to $10 million of its common stock over the next 24 months; shares rose 5% Friday and its market cap is $130 million.
  • Pomeroy IT Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:PMRY) authorized a somewhat unusual program to repurchase up to $5 millionof its outstanding common stock.  In addition, the Board adopted awritten trading plan under Rule 10b5-1 of the Act to facilitate therepurchase of its common stock. Rule 10b5-1 allows the Company topurchase its shares at times when the Company would not ordinarily bein the market because of the Company’s trading policies or thepossession of material non-public information. Pomeroy’s market cap is$86 million.
  • Alcon, Inc. (NYSE:ACL) approved a new share repurchase program that allows for the purchase of up to $1.1 billionof shares of outstanding common stock targeted over a twelve monthperiod.  The $1.1 billion share repurchase program provides for a purchase of shares from the company’s majority shareholder,Nestle, S.A. Specifically at a rate of three shares fromNestle for every share acquired by the company in the market. This new program is in addition to thecompany’s existing repurchase program, under which, as of December 5,2007, the company has remaining authorization to repurchase up to 2.8million shares. It is anticipated that the new repurchase program willcommence in the first quarter of 2008.
  • The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) authorized an additional $1 billionfor purchases of its common stock through 2009, and this is in additionto the approximately $300 million remaining under previous sharerepurchase authorization. With a $1.3 Billion total plan, it has $17Billion market cap.
  • International Assets Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:IAAC) renewed the Company’sshare repurchase authorization for an increased amount of $5,000,000 in shares of common stock.  The renewal will be effective January 1, 2008. IAAC’s market cap is $226 million.
  • 4Kids Entertainment (NYSE:KDE) saw its shares rise on a 1 million share buyback of around $11 million; market cap is $157 million.  FULL REVIEW with value investor synopsis.
  • Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) was the biggy of the week, but you wouldn’t haveknown it if you saw the stock trades.  It is reinstating its sharerepurchase plan and will spend up to $10 Billion in share buyback.  Its market cap is $55.8 Billion.  FULL COVERAGE.

Many of these buyback stocks are under review for our Special Situation Investing Newsletter.

Here are some of the big updates or increases that took place this week:

  • ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) has been making updates on itsongoing share buyback in the E.U.   Under the new share buy-backprogram announced on 13 September 2007, Arcelor Mittal has repurchased4,450,000 shares from 29 November until 5 December 2007 at an averageprice of EUR 48.7403 and for a total amount of EUR 215,773,685.00.
  • Penson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: PNSN) has authorized the expenditure of up to an additional $12.5 millionto buy back Company common stock, bringing its total buybackauthorization since July 2007 to $37.5 million.  As previouslyreported, during Q3 & Q4, Penson has bought a total of 1,474,503shares, equal to approximately 6% of shares outstanding in the initialrepurchase plan.
  • Celadon Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CLDN) completed its 2 Million share buyback and authorization an additional 2 Million Share Buyback through December 3, 2008; it has 23.76 million shares outstanding.
  • H.B. Fuller Company (NYSE:FUL) recently completed its $100 million share repurchase planthat was announced in July and approximately 3.6 million shares ofcommon stock were repurchased; its market cap is $1.56 Billion.
  • Health Grades, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGRD) gave an update on itsstock repurchase program: From November 12 through December 3, 2007, itpurchased an additional 309,600 shares on the open market at an averageprice of $5.48 a share.  As of December 3, it has purchased 1,570,554shares of its common stock on the open market at an average price of$4.78 a share. The aggregate purchase price is approximately $7.5million.  Based on it stock repurchase program of 3 million shares intotal, HealthGrades remains able to purchase an additional 1,429,446shares.
  • Templeton Russia and East European Fund, Inc. (NYSE:TRF)authorized management to withdraw the Fund’s proposed secondaryoffering of the Fund’s shares of common stock AND authorized managementto reinstate the Fund’s open-market share repurchase program, which wassuspended in connection with the Fund’s proposed secondary offering.This closed-end fund has 5.44 million shares outstanding.

Here was the FULL COVERAGE of our Buyback Summary from Monday Dec. 3:
The Day In Stock Buybacks (SMTC, ASI, EQR, DFS, LCUT, IBM, CPT)

Jon C. Ogg
December 7, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.

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