Los Angeles Business Journal

Disney to Increase Stock Buybacks

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, September 12, 2013

Walt Disney Co.’s chief financial officer on Thursday said the Burbank entertainment giant plans to buy back between $6 billion to $8 billion of its stock beginning next year in an effort to increase investor returns.

During a presentation at a Bank of America Corp. investor conference in Beverly Hills, CFO Jay Rasulo said the company will have more resources available now that many of the capital improvements at its theme parks and upgrades to its cruise line have been completed.

“Based on the investment we have been doing, we will see an increase in cash flow,” said Rasulo, who was quoted in a Bloomberg News report. “We just worked our way through a huge capital cycle.”

The company so far this year has repurchased $3.2 billion of its stock. Disney likely will borrow to finance part of next year’s repurchases, but not so much as to hurt its debt rating, Rasulo said. The company also has been increasing its dividend to shareholders, with the 2012 annual dividend up 25 percent to 75 cents a share.

Shares closed up $1.55, or 2 percent, to $65.49 on the New York Stock Exchange.