Qualcomm Launches $5 Billion Accelerated Share Buyback

Dow Jones Newswires

Qualcomm Inc., amid pressure from an activist investor, said Thursday that it would launch an accelerated plan to buy back $5 billion in stock.

The move is part of the semiconductor's plan, unveiled in March, for a new $15 billion buyback program. It said at the time that it intended to repurchase $10 billion of stock within 12 months.

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Qualcomm is facing pressure from activist investor Jana Partners LLC, which disclosed on April 13 that it had purchased more than $2 billion in stock. Jana has discussed options for boosting Qualcomm's share price that include spinning off the company's chip unit from its patent-licensing business, which accounts for about two-thirds of Qualcomm's profits.

Qualcomm has said it believed the company's two-fisted business model brought valuable synergies and that its plans to return cash to shareholders would help boost shareholder value.

Shares of Qualcomm, down 5.5% in 2015, rose 1.4% to $70.28 in morning trading.

The initial delivery will be 57.7 million shares, Qualcomm said Thursday. The company added that it is funding the repurchase with proceeds from its recently completed $10 billion debt offering.