The largest telephone service network in the U.S. says it will buy back 5% of its stock.
AT&T (NYSE:T) announced the plan on Monday. The company will repurchase up to 300 million shares.
The new stock buyback plan follows a similar 300 million share repurchase plan authorized by the company’s board in late 2010.
Company officials said AT&T had spent $4.6 billion through June of this year to purchase 143.5 million shares under the 2010 authorization. Between the share repurchases and dividend payments, the company has paid shareholders almost $10 billion in the first half of 2012, Bloomberg noted.
With the new buy back authorization, AT&T will spend as much as $11.1 billion on share repurchases. No expiration date was issued for the latest share repurchase program.
That spending has reduced available cash reserves from $3.19 billion last year to $2.15 billion last quarter. The company is also trimming capital spending and recently sold the Yellow Pages to a private equity firm for almost $1 billion.
The announcement follows last week’s announcement that the company’s second-quarter earnings grew 8.7%, topping Wall Street estimates, though revenues fell slightly short of analysts’ forecasts.
Shares of AT&T rose just over 1% in early Monday trading.