Allergan is to embark on a new $2 billion share repurchase programme – soon after it completed a separate buyback of $15 billion in its own shares.

Such buybacks happen for a variety of reasons, including a desire to increase earnings per share. In this case, Allergan believes that its stock is undervalued.

Brent Saunders, Chairman, CEO and President of Allergan said: “The share price today presents a unique investment opportunity for the company.”

Allergan could wait for the price to rise before re-issuing the shares it has bought to the market at a new, higher price. The company insists it is striking “the right balance” between returning capital to shareholders while maintaining “our focus on investment-grade credit ratings”.

The move follows last week’s disappointment when the US Food and Drug Administration refused to file the company’s Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for schizophrenia drug Vraylar (cariprazine) to treat negative symptoms associated with the condition in adult patients. The FDA decided the sNDA was “not sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review”.

The company has reaffirmed its 2017 financial guidance and third quarter revenue projections. Saunders said the board was demonstrating its confidence in the company’s “future prospects”. Allergan has committed to paying off $3.75 billion of debt in 2018 and pledged to increase its regular quarterly cash dividend annually for shareholders.

Meanwhile, the company announced that Chief Financial Officer Tessa Hilado is to retire from Allergan. She will stay in place until a successor is named.

Hilado said that when she joined in 2014 she had promised Saunders to stay for three years, during which time she would “help transform the finance organization, institute better systems and financial controls and improve the balance sheet”.

She added: “Now is a good time to announce my retirement from Allergan so that we have time to identify my successor and orchestrate a smooth hand-off to continue Allergan's progress.”