The Company was buying back shares at an average of $17.30 last quarter (767,082 shares). They bought at $18.14 the previous quarter (300,000 shares). This represents a little less than 1% of the average quarterly volume.
The Company has a super-strong balance sheet and a lot of liquidity. Don't be surprised if they're continuing to buy at these levels.
Considering I think the stock is a buy here, I think its a good thing they use excee cash to buy stock here as well. It reduces dilution from options, which like it or not, will happen at any public company at CREE's stage of development. As long as they don't take on a lot of debt or cut R&D, I am for it.
The problem with Cree's buy-backs is they turn right around and reissue the shares to the executive staff in the form of options, etc. So my question is this. Does this really benefit the stockholders? It is the same as giving the top employees cash.
Don't get me wrong. I am a holder of Cree stock, but it has always angered me that they buy back hundreds of thousands of shares, however the number of shares outstanding continues to rise.