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J&J announces $5bn share repurchase

Published on 18/12/18 at 10:37am

New Jersey-based pharma firm Johnson & Johnson plans to buy back $5 billion in shares after news agency Reuters released an investigation which led to the company losing more than $45 billion in market value over just two days.

Shares in the company plummeted on Friday after a Reuter’s investigation revealed that the company had known its baby powders had been contaminated with asbestos since at least 1971.

The company were alleged to have misled the public and covered up research as they sought to save their ‘sacred cow’. The disgraced firm has lost a more than 12% of its overall value since the report was published late last week. The scandal has come after a series of plaintiffs alleged that J&J’s baby powders had caused them to develop deadly mesothelioma.

In response J&J have run ads in newspapers and online calling for “Science. Not sensationalism.” The company also announced that they would repurchase $5 billion in shares.

The company said in a statement “Repurchases may be made at management's discretion from time to time on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions. The repurchase program has no time limit and may be suspended for periods or discontinued at any time.  Any shares acquired will be available for general corporate purposes. The company had approximately 2,683.2 million shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2018.  The company does not expect to incur debt to fund the share repurchase program.”

Louis Goss

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