Boosting Shareholder Value: A Recap of Last Week's Biggest Stock Buyback Authorizations

Stock Buyback Authorizations From Last Week: Eco Wave Power, Atossa Therapeutics, Genesco, Ashland, and Morgan Stanley Make Strategic Moves



Sector: Utilities
Industry: Utilities - Independent Power Producers

Eco Wave Power Global AB (publ), a prominent onshore wave energy company, has recently announced its intention to establish a share repurchase program. The program aims to repurchase American Depositary Shares equivalent to a maximum of 10 percent of Eco Wave's total shares, as permitted by Swedish Law.

According to Eco Wave Power's Founder and CEO, Inna Braverman, this initiative will provide Eco Wave's leadership with a broader scope to act and enhance Eco Wave's capital structure. The primary goal is to drive greater shareholder value and improve the overall investment potential of Eco Wave.

To implement the share repurchase program, Eco Wave's board of directors proposed an authorization during the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM). The main terms of the authorization include:

1. Repurchases will be executed exclusively on the Nasdaq Capital Market or any other regulated market.

2. The authorization can be exercised multiple times before the 2024 AGM.

3. Eco Wave's total holding of shares at any given time must not exceed 10 percent of the total shares available.

4. Repurchases on the Nasdaq Capital Market can only be made within the price range of the highest purchase price and lowest selling price at any given time.

5. Payment for the repurchased shares will be made in cash.

It's important to note that the share repurchase program is subject to shareholder approval, which will be sought at the upcoming AGM on June 30, 2023. Additionally, the authorization is contingent upon obtaining the necessary permits from the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA) in accordance with Chapter 19 of the Swedish Companies Act. The SFSA's approval is time-limited and dependent on their assessment of the Nasdaq Capital Market as an equivalent of a regulated market as defined in the Swedish Securities Market Act.


Sector: Healthcare
Industry: Biotechnology

Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. (ATOS), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in innovative medicines for unmet needs in breast cancer treatment, has recently announced its approval of a share repurchase program. Atossa's Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $10 million of its common stock by December 31, 2023.

The decision to implement the stock buyback program stems from Atossa's commitment to creating long-term value for its shareholders. Dr. Steven Quay, Atossa's President and CEO, expressed confidence in Atossa's strategic priorities and its bright future, considering both the current macroeconomic environment and the potential of its business.

Greg Weaver, Chief Financial Officer of Atossa, highlighted the strength of Atossa's balance sheet and the progress made in their (Z)-endoxifen development program, which includes multiple ongoing Phase 2 studies. With the belief that the current share price offers an attractive and strategic buying opportunity, the approved share repurchase program aims to generate stockholder value over the long term. Importantly, the authorized repurchase amount is less than 10% of the total cash reported on March 31, 2023, and is not expected to significantly impact Atossa's cash runway, which presently extends beyond three years.


Sector: Consumer Cyclical
Industry: Apparel Retail

Genesco Inc. recently announced that its board of directors has approved a $50 million increase to its existing share repurchase authorization of $200 million. Genesco has been actively repurchasing shares since September 2019 under the existing program, buying back approximately 3.9 million shares at a cost of around $189.5 million. This has left Genesco with $10.5 million remaining under the current authorization. During the current quarter alone, Genesco repurchased approximately 676,000 shares for $14.5 million, at an average price of $21.41 per share.

In total, since December 2018, Genesco has repurchased approximately 9.2 million shares, amounting to over 46% of the shares outstanding at the beginning of these purchases. This significant buyback activity demonstrates Genesco's commitment to returning value to its shareholders.

The newly authorized $50 million increase in share repurchase is part of Genesco's ongoing efforts to optimize its capital structure and enhance shareholder value. Genesco plans to implement the program through various methods, including open market purchases, private transactions, block trades, or a combination of such methods, in compliance with SEC and other legal requirements. The timing, prices, and quantities of the repurchases will be determined based on prevailing stock prices, market conditions, and other relevant factors.


Sector: Basic Materials
Industry: Specialty Chemicals

Ashland Inc., a global additives and specialty ingredients company, recently provided an update on its preliminary fiscal 2023 third-quarter financial results and its outlook for the fiscal year. Ashland operates in consumer-focused markets such as pharmaceuticals, personal care, and architectural coatings. However, Ashland has been facing challenges due to customer de-stocking and uncertainty about when this trend will end.

For the third quarter, Ashland expects sales to be in the range of $545 million to $550 million, representing a 15 percent decline compared to the prior year. The decline is mainly driven by lower volumes resulting from rapid customer de-stocking, partially offset by favorable pricing. The projected Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $130 million to $135 million, down approximately 22-25 percent compared to the previous year, primarily due to lower sales volumes and reduced cost absorption.

To address the current market conditions and maximize shareholder value, Ashland's Board of Directors has authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program. This replaces the previous $500 million authorization, of which $200 million was remaining. Since September 30, 2022, Ashland has already repurchased approximately $300 million of its outstanding shares under the previous authorization.

Looking ahead to fiscal year 2023, Ashland is updating its financial outlook based on continued customer de-stocking, macroeconomic uncertainty, and limited visibility into global consumer demand. If the de-stocking dynamics persist throughout the fiscal fourth quarter, Ashland expects sales to be around $2.2 billion and Adjusted EBITDA to be approximately $500 million.


Sector: Financial Services
Industry: Capital Markets

Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services firm, recently made significant announcements regarding its capital distribution plans. Morgan Stanley declared an increase in its quarterly common stock dividend from $0.775 per share to $0.85 per share, effective from the third quarter of 2023. This decision reflects the firm's strong financial performance and commitment to delivering value to its shareholders.

Furthermore, Morgan Stanley's Board of Directors reauthorized a multi-year common equity share repurchase program, authorizing the repurchase of up to $20 billion of its own shares. This program has no set expiration date and will commence in the third quarter of 2023. The firm will exercise the repurchases at prices it deems appropriate, considering factors such as current market conditions, its capital position, and future economic and earnings outlook.

James P. Gorman, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley, emphasized the resilience of the firm's business model and its commitment to returning capital to shareholders. He expressed confidence in the strength of the franchise, particularly Wealth and Investment Management, as well as the firm's solid capital position.

The decision to authorize a stock buyback of up to $20 billion reflects Morgan Stanley's confidence in its ability to generate future earnings and its commitment to optimizing capital allocation. The firm's performance in the Federal Reserve's stress test, which demonstrated the durability of its transformed business model, likely played a role in the authorization.

The results of the stress test led to Morgan Stanley expecting to be subject to a Stress Capital Buffer (SCB) of 5.4% from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024, as determined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This, combined with other aspects of the regulatory capital framework, results in an aggregate U.S. Basel III Standardized Approach Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 12.9%. As of March 31, 2023, the firm's U.S. Basel III Standardized Approach CET1 ratio stood at 15.1%, indicating a solid capital position.

All data was sourced from LevelFields AI

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