Prudential Financial Authorizes $1 Billion Buyback of Shares

Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer, authorized the repurchase of $1 billion in shares through the end of June 2014.

Management will determine the timing and size of buybacks based on market conditions, the Newark, New Jersey-based insurer said today in a statement. Prudential said it repurchased $150 million of shares under a $1 billion authorization that expires on June 30.

Prudential, led by Chief Executive Officer John Strangfeld, said it was identified by U.S. regulators as a potential risk to the financial system this month. Prudential has said it may contest the decision, which would increase U.S. scrutiny of the firm.

“There is still some risk that share buybacks could be constrained” for systemically important firms, Jay Gelb, an analyst at Barclays Plc, wrote in a June 3 research note. He estimates Prudential will repurchase $450 million in shares this year.

Prudential declined about 2 percent in New York trading today to $70.93 and has advanced 33 percent this year in New York trading. MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, has risen 35 percent.

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