NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized the corporation to repurchase up to 80 million shares of its common stock.
The board also determined that no additional shares may be acquired under a previously approved program to repurchase up to 80 million shares. Under the previous program, which was due to end Feb. 29, 2004, approval remained to purchase approximately 47.5 million shares.
Approximately 2.77 billion shares of Verizon common stock were outstanding as of Dec. 31, 2003.
Under the plan approved today by the board, Verizon's senior officers have the option to repurchase shares for the corporation over time, with the amount and timing of repurchases depending on market conditions and corporate needs.
Although shares repurchased under the plan may generally be used for any corporate purpose, the corporation currently expects to apply repurchased shares to satisfy normal funding requirements for employee benefit plans and the Verizon Communications Direct Invest direct stock purchase and share-ownership plan.
The authorization to repurchase shares terminates when the aggregate number of shares repurchased reaches 80 million or at the close of business on Feb. 28, 2006, whichever is earlier.
A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with more than 139 million access line equivalents and 36 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with nearly 16 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.