Commenting on the authorization, CEO J. W. Stewart said, "During the current quarter, the Company has repurchased approximately $220 million of its outstanding shares and has repurchased $331 million in the current fiscal year. Since the initial authorization in December 1997, the Company has repurchased approximately $928 million of its then outstanding shares. The expansion of the repurchase program allows the Company to continue utilizing its free cash flow and leverage capacity to further repurchase shares and to enhance long term shareholder value while maintaining considerable financial flexibility to pursue growth opportunities. Today's action gives the Company total authorization of approximately $1.3 billion for future purchases."
The Board of Directors also approved a quarterly cash dividend in the amount of $.05 per share, payable July 14, 2006 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 15, 2006.
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