Swiss pharma giant Novartis (NVS: Quote) on Friday announced the launch of a $5 billion share buyback, reflecting its confidence in its long-term growth prospects, as well as its commitment to deliver strong shareholder returns. The company said the buyback will start immediately and be executed over two years on the 2nd trading line.
The company noted that it re-confirmed its capital structure aligned with a target rating of double-A as a reflection of its financial strength and discipline. It will allocate capital to a strong and growing dividend, value-creating bolt-on acquisitions and a $5 billion share buyback starting immediately.
The firm also announced it will continue to pursue an aggressive productivity agenda, which has offset generic erosion and growth investments over the past two years. Ongoing initiatives include leveraging scale in Procurement, consolidating Research sites around the world and optimizing the manufacturing footprint.
The company expects that the programs will deliver approximately 3-4% of sales in productivity gains per year through 2015, and contribute to organic margin leverage.
According to the company, Pharmaceuticals, the largest division in the company portfolio is preparing for a new growth phase, driven by an expanding blockbuster portfolio and an industry-leading pipeline. In addition to products with blockbuster status such as Lucentis, Gilenya, Afinitor and Tasigna, the Galvus group is expected to reach more than $1 billion in net sales by year end and there is the potential for a total of 14 or more blockbusters by 2018.
by RTT Staff Writer
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