This is the fourth 300 million-share buyback AT&T has announced in the past four years—the previous three came December 2010, July 2012 and March 2013.
“The board’s authorization reaffirms our confidence in the strength of the business and our commitment to returning value to our shareholders while investing in our networks and operations,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.
Under its previous buyback announced March 2013, AT&T repurchased about 175 million shares up to March 28, 2014. Dating back to 2012, AT&T says it has repurchased roughly 775 million shares or 13 percent of its outstanding shares.
The share-buyback announcement comes after AT&T’s strong 2014 start in wireless. The carrier posted a 16.8 percent increase in wireless data revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter and officially closed its deal to buy Leap Wireless, netting it valuable spectrum and a stronger foothold to push into the prepaid space.