This morning, industry giant AT&T unveiled a new use for its cash and it isn't European M&A. Rather than do anything rash, the company's board of directors has authorized a new stock buyback of up to another 300M shares with no expiry. That's up to 6% of the total and represents a not insubstantial $10B or so in cash at today's stock price.
AT&T has been featured in on-again-off-again rumors chasing European assets, especially Vodafone. However, a while back they told UK regulators no bid was coming for a while, and meanwhile Vodafone has been busy changing the playing field with its purchase of Ono.
Today's announcement by AT&T is nothing particularly new, they did the same thing last year and bought 175M of the shares. But renewing before they needed to is a pretty clear statement that they may be opportunistically looking at Europe, but they still have plenty of other things to do with the cash. And as for real FTTH progress, stock buybacks are apparently still more attractive.
Meanwhile, AT&T's global networking arm landed a global IP VPN contract. They'll be connecting more than 200 stores across four countries for the Liechtenstein-based retail chain Hilti.
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