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July 24 (Reuters) - Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc said on Wednesday that it would buy back up to $2 billion of its outstanding common shares, deploying its growing free cash flow as it winds down a 10-year mine expansion program.
The company said it would repurchase five percent of its stock over a one-year period. The announcement comes about four months after Potash said it would hike its dividend by 25 percent.
The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company, which has the largest capacity in the world to produce the crop nutrient potash, expects to wrap up a 10-year, $8-billion expansion of its Canadian potash mines in the next year.
Fertilizer rivals Mosaic Co and Agrium Inc are also returning more cash to shareholders. Mosaic said in May that it planned to use surplus cash to buy back shares, while Agrium intends to buy back up to five percent of its stock.
Potash shares closed at $37.94 in New York and at C$39.17 in Toronto on Wednesday.