Facebook Raises Share Buybacks by $9 Billion

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As Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) shares continue their brutal sell-off, the company’s board has increased its share buyback pool by $9 billion. The board set up a $15 billion facility that began in 2017. The plans have no expiration date.

The rules of the new plan are that “the timing and actual number of shares repurchased depend on a variety of factors, including price, general business and market conditions, and other investment opportunities.” The stock must be bought in the open market and applies to Facebook’s Class A common stock. Founder Mark Zuckerberg owns all of Facebook’s Class A shares and 89% of Class B shares. He has voting control of the company.

It is not surprising that the board believes Facebook shares are a bargain. The stock is down 24% this year. Among the forces asserting the downward pressure are a series of scandals involving disclosure of Facebook member data to third parties, a series of fake news incidents and worry that Facebook’s long-term growth chances have been compromised by the problems. Facebook also has been attacked for its confidential investigation of billionaire George Soros, who has been critical of the company in public.

Facebook has about $41 billion of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities.

The entire filing:

On December 6, 2018, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Facebook, Inc. (the “Company”) approved an increase of $9.0 billion in the amount authorized under the Company’s share repurchase program. The Board has previously authorized repurchases of up to $15.0 billion of the Company’s Class A common stock under the program since it commenced in 2017, and this increase is incremental to the prior authorizations. The repurchase program does not have an expiration date and the timing and actual number of shares repurchased depend on a variety of factors, including price, general business and market conditions, and other investment opportunities. Shares may be repurchased through open market purchases or privately negotiated transactions, including through the use of trading plans intended to qualify under Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.