The board of directors of Hewlett-Packard has authorized spending up to $10 billion to buy back stock in the computer giant, whose share price has slumped since chief executive Mark Hurd abruptly resigned this month.
HP's share price has shed approximately 15% since Hurd's surprise resignation on August 6 in the wake of a sexual harassment charge that uncovered subterfuge with company expenses.
"We expect to repurchase at least $3 billion worth of our shares in our fiscal fourth quarter," which ends in October, HP CFO and interim chief executive Cathie Lesjak said.
"This increased authorization will ensure that we have sufficient capacity to continue to be active in repurchasing our shares prior to our fiscal fourth quarter earnings announcement in November," she said.
HP said it "intends to use the additional authorization as part of its ongoing program to manage the dilution created by shares issued under employee stock plans and to repurchase shares opportunistically."
The company repurchased $2.6 billion worth of its shares in its fiscal third quarter. As of July 31, $4.9 billion remained from an $8 billion repurchase authorization approved by the board in November 2009.
HP is currently waging a battle with Dell for data storage firm 3PAR. On August 27 the company announced it would increase its offer for 3PAR to $2 billion or $30 per share in cash, up 11% from Dell's $27 per share offer.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010