Low stock prices fueled by a temporary relaxation in Security and Exchange Commission rules has led several IT companies to unveil plans to repurchase part of their outstanding shares.
The SEC relaxed the regulations on stock repurchases in an emergency order on September 14 in the wake of last Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington.
The emergency rule is expected to last until the fifth day after the opening of the stock market, but may be extended.
On Tuesday, the board of directors at Borland Software, Scotts Valley, Calif., authorized the company to repurchase up to $30 million worth of shares.
Bothell, Wash.-based SAN switch vendor Vixel adopted a plan to repurchase up to $1 million of its stock.
New York-based DoubleClick, which develops Internet marketing technology, was authorized to purchase up to $100 million in common stock over the next twelve months. "We are deeply saddened by the events of September 11, 2001," said CEO Kevin Ryan in a statement. "Yet we will not let these events disrupt our efforts to serve customers."
Embarcadero Technologies, a San Francisco-based provider of application and database life-cycle management solutions, and Hauppauge, NY-based electronic component distributor Jaco Electronics, were both authorized to repurchase up to 250,000 shares each on Tuesday.
Several other vendors on Monday also took advantage of the SEC relaxation.
Hewlett-Packard, which had to suspend its share repurchase activities during the negotiations related to its proposed acquisition of Compaq, resumed its normal stock repurchase activities. The company was previously authorized to repurchase about $1.8 billion worth of shares.
"We have enormous confidence in the underlying strength of the U.S. economy and the long-term health of the technology sector," said Carly Fiorina, chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Intel, which since 1990 has spend about $24 billion to repurchase approximately 1.5 billion shares, was authorized to increase the number of shares available under the company's ongoing stock repurchase program by 300 million shares.
Red Hat, Research Triangle Park, N.C., was authorized to repurchase up to 10 percent of its outstanding common shares over the next twelve months. "We strongly believe it is the right thing to do, both to support our country and its financial markets, and to show the tremendous confidence we have in the future of Red Hat," said Matthew Szulik, president and CEO of Red Hat, in a statement.
Akamai Technologies, Cambridge, Mass., was authorized to purchase up to $20 million of its common stock over the next six months. "We have confidence in our company and our country," said George H. Conrades, chairman and CEO in a statement.
Ascential Software, a Westboro, Mass.-based developer of information asset management solutions, took advantage of the SEC emergency rule to resume purchases of its stock in the open market under its previous $350 million stock repurchase program. That program had been suspended during the company's quiet period.
On Sunday, Advanced Digital Information Corp. (ADIC), Redmond, Wash., was authorized to repurchase up to five percent of the company's outstanding common stock. Such a move would normally not be allowed because ADIC's recent acquisition of Pathlight Technology was accounted for as a pooling of interests.
Siebel Systems, San Mateo, Calif., on Sunday was authorized by its board of directors to repurchase up to an aggregate of $500 million of its common stock.
Vignette said it plans to repurchase up to $50 million of its common stock.
SilverStream Software, the Billerica, Mass.-based developer of software development services, was authorized on Sunday to repurchase up to $10 million of its common stock over one year.
Last Thursday, Cisco Systems was authorized to purchase up to $3 billion of its outstanding stock over the next two years. "We have tremendous confidence in the financial systems of our country, in our industry and in our market-leading position both today and into the future," said John Chambers, president and CEO in a statement.