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Dell leads the way with share buyback programme

With cash to spare and shareholders to please, more companies have this week announced they are launching, or at least thinking about, share buyback programmes. Dell, the US technology company, has said it will use $10 billion to repurchase an additional 250 million shares. Since 1996, the company has spent more than $18 billion buying back 1.2 billion shares, reducing weighted average shares outstanding by 20%.

James Schneider, Dell's CFO, said: "Our business is exceptionally efficient and our cash flow from operations is consistently outstanding. Share repurchase remains a priority use of our cash, even as we continue to internally fund the fastest, most profitable growth in our industry."

Meanwhile, UK media company Trinity Mirror launched a £250 million ($477 million) share buyback programme after announcing a 25% rise in profits. The programme will commence this year and will be spread out over three years.

Trinity Mirror chairman Victor Blank insisted the company was still committed to growth, both organically and through acquisitions. "We have both the talent and resources to achieve this and in returning capital to shareholders, we will not be inhibiting our plans for growth," he said.

And finally, Sprint, the US's third largest mobile provider, has said it is considering using its spare cash to buy back shares once it has completed its acquisition of Nextel Communications this year.

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