Alaska budgets $120m on buyback programme in 2013

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Alaska Air Group expects to acquire $120 million in common stock from shareholders under its buyback programme during the course of the year.

The group's board of directors approved a stock repurchase programme in September 2012, authorising the company to buy up to $250 million of its common stock. At the end of March 2013, Alaska had repurchased shares worth $10 million.

The remaining $240 million in buybacks is expected to be completed by 31 December 2014, says the carrier.

The carrier intends to finance the stock repurchases with available cash.

Since 2007, Alaska has repurchased 18 million shares of its common stock, on a split-adjusted basis, for $319 million through similar programmes. Last year it completed $50 million under the buyback programme.

Alaska has allocated $330 million in capital expenditure for this year. The group will take delivery of nine new Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft and says expenditures include aircraft purchase deposits from its firm orderbook.

One aircraft, a 737-900ER, delivered early in May and followed the delivery of another new 737-900ER in the first quarter. Alaska will retire six 737s this year.

The carrier has options to acquire 69 737 aircraft with deliveries from 2015 through 2024. Subsidiary Horizon has options to acquire 10 Bombardier Q400 aircraft with deliveries from 2013 through 2015.