Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) will resume its share repurchase program after a multi-year break.
The drug maker launched the share repurchase effort in 2000, authorizing $3 billion to boost its share price, Reuters noted.
However, in 2006, the company opted to suspend the program, which had spent $2.58 billion, in order to reallocate its cash toward other concerns.
The company will spend the $420 million remaining under the original authorization during the rest of this year.
Analysts say that means it will repurchase roughly 1% of its current shares.
Having lost its patent for anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa, the company is also facing the loss of patent protection for its depression drug Cymbalta in 2013.
Eli Lilly officials indicated that the company will maintain its divident at its current level while repurchasing shares.
Shares of Eli Lilly slipped fractionally in early Wednesday trading.