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Walmart to repurchase $15 billion shares

BY DSN STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart’s board of directors has approved a new program authorizing the company to repurchase $15 billion of its shares, the company announced at its 41st annual meeting of shareholders Friday.

This program replaces the previous $15 billion program, announced on June 4, 2010, that had approximately $2 billion of remaining authorization. Under the program, repurchased shares are retired constructively and returned to unissued status.

“Our purchase of almost $13 billion of Walmart stock since last June is indicative of our strong free cash flow position,” Walmart EVP and CFO Charles Holley said. “We are pleased to continue our share repurchase program with this new $15 billion authorization.”

Through June 2, under the 2010 authorization, the company had spent more than $12.9 billion to repurchase more than 244 million shares. In addition to share repurchase, the company continues to return value to shareholders through dividends. Walmart increased the current fiscal year dividend per share by approximately 21% to $1.46, from $1.21 in fiscal 2011. During the first quarter of this year, the company distributed $1.3 billion in dividends.

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Wegmans’ Pa. locations bid wine kiosks farewell, reports say

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It seems that Wegmans’ Pennsylvania locations have pulled the plug on automated wine kiosks, according to published reports.

The news follows the re-installation of the Pronto wine kiosks in Wegmans and several other retailers in January, after the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board took them off-line in December 2010 due to mechanical and technological issues.

Wegmans’ decision to forgo using the kiosks was amid customer complaints, according to a letter the retailer sent to the PLCB.

Wegmans houses 10-out-of-32 kiosks operated by the PLCB statewide. Other retailers that operate the wine kiosks include Giant Food, Giant Eagle, The Fresh Grocer and Shop ‘n Save stores.

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CVS Caremark donates funds, in-kind donations to Joplin, Mo., residents

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has donated approximately $40,000 in monetary and in-kind donations to support residents of Joplin, Mo., including some of the company’s pharmacy benefit manager clients and their members who were impacted by the recent tornado, the company announced on Friday.

CVS Caremark and CVS/pharmacy colleagues in the region collected and donated first aid and personal care supplies valued at approximately $35,000 to local relief efforts in Joplin. In addition, CVS Caremark has made a $5,000 donation to the American Red Cross.

"We know that the tornado directly affected some of our valued PBM clients and their members in the Joplin area, so we are pleased to be able to support local relief efforts and the American Red Cross," CVS Caremark SVP community relations Eileen Howard Boone said.

CVS Caremark stated that it also has been working closely with its PBM clients and their members in the affected area to ensure members have ongoing access to their medications, and CVS Caremark colleagues are providing guidance to members about how to obtain their medications according to each unique situation.

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