March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Verizon Communications Inc. approved a plan to repurchase as many as 100 million shares over three years, an option it has said it’s unlikely to use.
Under the previous three-year authorization for as many as 100 million shares, which expired at the end of last month, Verizon acquired only 3.5 million shares, it said today in a statement. The company probably won’t repurchase stock for the next two to three years, Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said last month.
Verizon, based in New York, is shoring up its cash after acquiring full control of its wireless unit in a $130 billion transaction with Vodafone Group Plc. The deal lets Verizon get the full benefit of the division’s earnings instead of sharing them with its former partner.
Shares of Verizon fell less than 1 percent to $47.15 at the close in New York. The stock is down 4.1 percent this year.
The board also authorized a quarterly dividend of 53 cents a share, unchanged from the prior quarter.
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