, January 09, 2008
UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced its Board of Directors has approved a change in financial policy regarding the company's capital structure designed to enhance UPS's value to shareowners. Under the new policy, UPS intends to significantly increase the debt component of its balance sheet.
Going forward, the company intends to manage its balance sheet to a target debt ratio within a range of 50-to-60% funds-from-operations-to-total-debt. Previously, there was no stated metric.
"We have been studying our capital structure options for some time," said Kurt Kuehn, UPS's chief financial officer. "This change in policy will permit us to make increased investments in the business, pursue selective acquisitions and undertake larger share repurchases."
To begin implementation of the new policy, the Board authorized an immediate increase in the amount of funds available for stock repurchases from approximately $2 billion to $10 billion. The company intends to complete that level of share repurchases in the next 24 months. Repurchases may take the form of an accelerated share repurchase program, open market purchases or such other methods as the Board deems appropriate.
"UPS has had a long-standing commitment to a very strong balance sheet for decades and that will not change," added Scott Davis, UPS's chairman and CEO. "Indeed, we are putting that balance sheet strength to work to more efficiently deploy capital for the benefit of our shareowners. UPS's consistent, stable cash flows mean we can accept a higher degree of debt while continuing to strategically grow our business."