Selling Out for Buybacks

Many companies are overloading themselves with debt to finance a torrent of stock buybacks urged by shareholders

Earlier this year, management of media giant Tribune (TRB) took some dramatic steps to appease shareholders upset over the company's stagnant stock price. Tribune agreed to borrow as much as $2 billion to repurchase 25% of its shares, in a move designed to boost its return (see, 6/20/06, "The Trouble at Tribune").

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