ADT Corp. (ADT:US) rose to the highest price since its September spinoff from Tyco International Ltd. (TYC:US) after saying it would accelerate a share repurchase program backed by billionaire George Soros, one of ADT’s shareholders.
The security provider’s shares rose 3.2 percent to $48 at the New York close, the highest since Boca Raton, Florida-based ADT began trading as a separate company on Sept. 18. ADT said today it will buy back $600 million in stock.
Soros and ADT’s largest shareholder, Keith Meister of Corvex Management LP, had urged the company to boost shareholder returns by buying back about 45 percent of its stock with borrowed money, citing low interest rates. ADT will use the proceeds from a recently completed debt offering, according to a statement.
The share repurchases are “a very effective way of using our additional leverage to enhance shareholder returns,” ADT Chief Executive Officer Naren Gursahaney said today on a conference call.
The accelerated buybacks are part of a previous authorization announced in November to repurchase $2 billion in shares and will be completed by July 26 or earlier, the company said.
ADT also reported fiscal first-quarter earnings today that beat analysts’ estimates. Profit excluding special items was 44 cents a share for the three months ended Dec. 28, topping (ADT:US) the 42-cent average estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Net income jumped 13 percent to $105 million, while total revenue rose 1.8 percent to $809 million.
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