The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the company to repurchase up to $1 billion of its securities.
“This action reflects our progress in building capital strength,” stated Chairman and CEO Ramani Ayer. “Our last repurchase program expired in 2002, and this gives us the flexibility to return money to shareholders when that makes sense. Nonetheless, we have no plans to materially change our capital or surplus position through share repurchases in the near term.
“As we proceed through 2005, this authorization gives us the ability to balance competing uses of our capital: investing in growth; investing in capital strength; and returning capital to shareholders,” he continued. “As we see it now, investing in growth will be our highest priority, but business conditions, our stock price and external events will all affect how we use our capital in the future.”
The Hartford explained that the “authorization permits purchases of common shares and equity units, which may be made in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions.” It also indicated that it “may enter into derivative transactions to facilitate future repurchases of common shares and equity units. The timing of repurchases will be dependent upon several factors, including the market price of the company’s securities, the company’s capital position, consideration of the effect of any repurchases on the company’s financial strength or credit ratings, and other corporate considerations,” and could be “modified, extended or terminated by the Board of Directors at any time.”
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