Southwest has announced that they have authorized a new share repurchase program. The share repurchase program will acquire up to $300 Million worth of stocks.
The Southwest website has stated that on March 14th the company's close price was $14.88, this price represents approximately 20.2 million shares of common stock. The repurchase authorizations will be made in accordance to the open market or private transaction security laws. Currently, Southwest has approximately 785 million shares of common stock. The shares that will be retired could potentially be used for funding of the Company's Employee stock plans or the repurchased could be retired.
The CEO of Southwest, Gary Kelly, said, "Today's announcement affirms our confidence in our future growth opportunities and plans, as well as our continued commitment to increase Shareholder value. While our number one priority remains to profitably grow our route system, our strong balance sheet and liquidity allows us to use our capital base to further enhance Shareholder value over the long-term. This new $300 million authorization is in addition to the $400 million buyback program initiated in November 2006, which was completed this month. Since the beginning of 2006, we have completed three buyback programs and have repurchased 62.1 million shares of common stock for a total of $1 billion."
The press release announcing Southwest's Share Repurchase Authorization titled "Southwest Airlines Announces Share Repurchase Authorization," goes into detail about Southwest's management's objectives, projections, estimates, expectations, and predictions through the CEO's statement.