Abbott Laboratories said Friday that it plans to buy back up to $3 billion of its common stock, replacing a finished $5 billion program that began before the health care company separated from its drug business.
Abbott makes generic drugs, medical implants and nutritional formula. It spun off its branded prescription drug business into a separate company, AbbVie Inc., earlier this year.
Abbott’s $5 billion fund was started in October 2008. In February AbbVie approved a $1.5 billion buyback program. The company expects the repurchases to be completed over several years.
When a company buys back its stock, that can make shareholders’ existing holdings more valuable and potentially boost earnings per share.
Shares of Abbott Laboratories gained 12 cents to $36.82 in afternoon trading.