Cisco plans US$3 billion stock repurchase

The Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) board has authorized a US$3 billion stock repurchase plan to take place over the next two years. The move was made as a vote of confidence in financial markets, which halted trading Tuesday after terrorist attacks shattered New York's World Trade Center. The markets are expected to resume trading Monday, although the city's financial district remains largely shuttered.

When trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market was stopped Tuesday, the Cisco share price was $14.47. At that price, the repurchase would buy 207 million shares of the 7.3 billion the company said it has outstanding.

Cisco had been considering a repurchase plan "for some time," Chief Financial Officer Larry Carter is quoted as telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday. Besides being a vote of confidence in financial systems and the company, the repurchase plan is deemed to be in the best interest of shareholders, Chief Executive Officer John Chambers said in a statement released Thursday to announce the plan.

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