Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Japan’s biggest fixed-line phone company, plans to buy back up to 3.4 percent of its shares for as much as 150 billion yen ($1.9 billion).
NTT will buy back as many as 42 million shares of common stock from tomorrow until March 29 “to improve capital efficiency,” the company said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange today.
The shares fell 0.6 percent to 3,600 yen before the announcement and have declined 8.5 percent this year, compared with a 9.2 percent year-to-date gain for Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average. Japan’s finance ministry owns 32.6 percent of Tokyo-based NTT, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The phone operator repurchased 41.8 million shares for 158 billion yen in February.
The company forecasts net income of 575 billion yen for the year ending March 31, compared with 467.7 billion yen the previous 12-month period.
NTT’s credit is rated Aa2, the third-highest investment grade, by Moody’s Investors Service and AA, also the third-highest level, by Standard & Poor’s. Both ratings are issued with a stable outlook.