Shares of Allergan PLC rallied 1.1% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the biopharmaceutical company announced a $10 billion accelerated stock repurchase (ASR) program and initiated a dividend, offsetting third-quarter profit and sales that missed expectations. The company said it would buy back $8 billion worth of its stock in November, as part of the ASR, and the rest will be acquired by the third-quarter of 2017. The previously-announced $5 billion share repurchase program was completed ahead of schedule. The company said it will start paying a quarterly dividend of 70 cents a share on March 28, 2017, to shareholders of record on Feb. 28, 2017. "We continue to believe there is no greater investment than Allergan stock, given our powerful growth prospects," said Chief Executive Brent Saunders. Separately, Allergan reported net earnings that rose to $15.15 billion, or $38.58 a share, from $5.23 billion, or $13.29 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $3.32, below the FactSet consensus of $3.56. Revenue increased to $3.62 billion from $3.47 billion, but missed the FactSet consensus of $3.68 billion. For 2016, revenue is expected to be $14.45 billion to $14.65 billion and adjusted EPS is expected to be $13.30 to $13.50, both below the FactSet revenue consensus of $14.73 billion and the EPS consensus of $13.91. The stock has plunged 33% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF has tumbled 19% and the S&P 500 has gained 3.3%.
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