Celgene Corp is using its considerable cashpile for another $600 million share buyback, meaning it has repurchased nearly $1 billion of stock already this year.
The company says it has entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement with an unnamed investment bank and the $600 million is part of the existing programme through which Celgene has already repurchased about $385 million worth of its common stock to date this year. There is some $1.45 billion remaining in the existing program and $5.05 billion of stock has been bought back over the past four years.
Jacqualyn Fouse, Celgene's chief financial officer, said the accelerated share repurchase programme "reflects our confidence in the company’s long-term financial outlook". She added that "we are committed to optimising our capital structure, while increasing shareholder value".
Celgene has been on a winnning streak of late, having just bagged approval in the USA for Pomalyst (pomalidomide) thus expanding its multiple myeloma franchise which is booming thanks to Revlimid (lenalidomide). There is excitement over its pipeline, notably for apremilast in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, while Abraxane (nanoparticle albumin-bound -'nab' - paclitaxel), currently approved for breast and lung cancer, looks promising for advanced pancreatic cancer.
Celgene has said it is interested in acquisitions but the share buyback programme suggests that there is nothing out there that particularly catches the eye of management. The company ended 2012 with $3.90 billion in cash and marketable securities.