Magazine article American Banker

BankAmerica Buys Back 5M Shares in 1st Month of Repurchase Program

Magazine article American Banker

BankAmerica Buys Back 5M Shares in 1st Month of Repurchase Program

Article excerpt

BankAmerica Corp. bought back five million of its own shares in the first month of its repurchase program, Lewis W. Coleman, chief financial officer, said Tuesday in New York.

"We have been fairly aggressive in the market on nearly every trading day," he said during the San Francisco company's presentation at the 25th annual symposium of the Bank & Financial Analysts Association. BankAmerica's directors last month authorized the buying in of $1.9 billion of its common stock by the end of 1997. So far, the company has probably spent over $225 million.

"It's an impressive effort," said Lawrence W. Cohn of PaineWebber Inc. "They are ahead of expectations," added George M. Salem of Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co.

In afternoon trading, BankAmerica's stock price was unchanged at $47.75. Recently, there has been some criticism leveled at publicly traded companies for not actively following through on stock repurchases after announcements of such programs bolster the stock.

Repurchase programs are highly popular on Wall Street since they support stock prices and boost returns on investment. Once rare in banking, they have proliferated over the past two years as a means for the industry to manage its excess capital.

Mr. Coleman said the bank's buying has likely accounted for 15% to 20% of the stock's daily volume since the program was announced. But he cautioned analysts not to assume that the bank's buying activity will continue at this pace.

In other news, S. …

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