Tuesday, July 23, 2002

P&G again buys back own stock

By Cliff Peale, cpeale@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Trying to reassure investors that its finances are solid amid widespread stock declines on Wall Street, Procter & Gamble Co. said Monday that it would resume buying back its own stock.

        Cincinnati-based P&G didn't disclose how much stock it would repurchase. Last year, it didn't buy any stock under a discretionary program other than the shares it repurchased to offset the effect of stock options.

        The message to investors was clear. P&G wants to show that even though its shares have declined about 16 percent in

        two weeks along with the broader stock market, the company still has plenty of cash and a solid basic business.

        “That's the message they have to send,” said Dan Popowics, an equity analyst at Fifth Third Bank, which manages about 10 million P&G shares.

        “It underscores that P&G has the financial wherewithal to make such a move.”

        Investors responded. P&G stock outperformed the market, with the share price up $3.37 per share to $77.83.

        Also Monday, Standard & Poor's said the repurchase announcement would have no effect on P&G's debt ratings.


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