Qube Holdings (ASX: QUB) was up around 2% at the open after the logistics giant announced it will buy back a whopping 141.9m of its shares, or around 7% of its shares on issue.
Following the completion of Qube's near $1.7bn sale of its Moorebank Logistics Park assets, the group plans to return capital to shareholders over the remainder of FY22.
Through an off-market program, Qube plans to Buy-back up to $400m ordinary shares, conducted via a tender process.
Management told investors that the sale of Moorebank Logistics Park, coupled with Qube’s strong financial performance FY21 and first half FY22 – which have contributed to a strong capital position – have made this off-market Buy-Back possible.
“We believe that the off-market Buy-Back announced today is the most effective method to return significant value to all our shareholders and optimise our capital structure at this time,” noted Qube Chairman, Allan Davies.
“A lower capital base and share count supports Qube’s future earnings per share and dividends per share, all things being equal.”
The capital component of the buyback price is expected to be $1.61 per share, and assumes an illustrative market price of $3.03, a discount of 7%.
The buyback opens on April 7 and closes on May 13, and Qube expects to announce the results of the Buy-Back on Monday, 16 May 2022.
Today’s Buy-back announcement follows Qube’s reported 26% increase in revenue for the half ending 31 December 2021. Underlying earnings (EBITA) were up 18.9% while underlying EPS was also up 15.9%.
At half year, the group also revealed a 20% boost to its (fully franked) dividend, to 3 cents per share.
Despite scheduling issues and industrial disputes, the group witnessed earnings growth at Patrick, Australia’s leading container terminal operator.
While hinting at a possible Buy-back at the half year, managing director Paul Digney also noted:
“Qube is well placed to manage any emerging inflationary pressures including through contractual protections, ongoing productivity initiatives to increase efficiency and reduce costs, and pro-active engagement with customers to review their roaster logistics supply chain requirements."
Qube Holdings share price: A six month view.
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