Target OKs $5 billion share repurchase authorization

MINNEAPOLIS — Target's board of directors has approved a new $5 billion share repurchase program, which will be implemented upon the completion of the company's current $10 billion program.

Target said while it expects to complete its current program early this year, it expects to complete the new $5 billion authorization in the next two to three years, saying the program "represents an opportunity to apply excess cash flow to what [the company believes] will be an attractive long-term investment."

“Our plans envision continued generation of much more cash than we believe is appropriate to invest in our core businesses,” Target EVP and CFO Doug Scovanner said. “We’re committed to maintaining Target’s long history of returning cash to shareholders through both dividends and share repurchase, and this new authorization will allow for seamless execution of share repurchase beyond completion of the current program.”

In related news, the board also declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per common share — its 178th consecutive dividend paid since October 1967 — which is payable March 10 to shareholders of record at the close of business Feb. 15.