September 20, 2012 / 1:02 AM / 5 years ago

Nike approves $8 billion share repurchase program

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The company logo of Nike is shown at the U.S. Olympic athletics trials in Eugene, Oregon June 21, 2012.Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Nike Inc is beefing up its capacity to use its cash to purchase its own shares, with the board of the world's largest sportswear maker approving an $8 billion buyback program.

The new $8 billion four-year repurchase program for Nike's class B stock will follow the company's current $5 billion buyback plan once that program is completed during the second quarter of fiscal 2013, Nike said on Wednesday.

"Over the past 10 years, Nike has returned $10 billion to shareholders through the repurchase of more than 167 million shares," Chief Executive Mark Parker said in a statement, adding that share buybacks are a prudent use of Nike's cash.

Nike has a market value of $44 billion based on its closing share price Wednesday of $97.66 and its 453.87 million shares outstanding.

Another U.S. company, CVS Caremark, also announced a big $6 billion share buyback program on Wednesday.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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