Jefferies boosts share repurchase program

Maria Nikolova

The Board of Directors has approved an increase to Jefferies’ share repurchase program of $250 million.

Jefferies Financial Group Inc (NYSE:JEF), previously known as Leucadia National Corporation, has announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase to Jefferies’ share repurchase program of $250 million. The increase will add to the approximately 2.8 million-share authority that Jefferies has under its existing repurchase program.

During the current fiscal quarter, Jefferies has repurchased approximately 7 million shares at an average price of $21.70 or approximately $152 million.

As of the close of business on January 31, 2020, Jefferies has 284,761,185 issued and outstanding common shares, or 307,759,516 outstanding common shares on a fully diluted basis.

Jefferies’ Board of Directors from time to time has authorized the repurchase of the company’s common shares. In January 2019, the Board approved a $500 million share repurchase authorization. Additionally, in connection with the HomeFed merger on July 1, 2019, the Board authorized the repurchase of an additional 9.25 million shares.

During the twelve months ended November 30, 2019, Jefferies purchased a total of 25,926,388 of its common shares for an aggregate purchase price of $506.2 million, or an average price of $19.52 per share. This includes 780,315 shares of the company’s common stock purchased, at a price of $21.03 per share, in connection with the sale of a hotel and restaurant in Telluride, Colorado that it owned, to the company’s Chairman and certain of his family trusts. In total, based on the closing price of Jefferies common shares at November 30, 2019, the company has approximately $203.6 million available for future purchases.

During the past two fiscal years, Jefferies has returned to shareholders in excess of $2.4 billion through share repurchases and dividends.

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