GE to boost share buybacks after NBC stake sale

General Electric will use proceeds from NBCUniversal sale to repurchase $10 billion in shares

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- General Electric plans to boost share buybacks to about $10 billion in 2013, thanks to the early sale of its stake in NBCUniversal.

GE announced Tuesday that it is selling its remaining 49 percent stake in the NBCUniversal joint venture to cable operator Comcast for $16.7 billion. GE's board voted to increase its overall share repurchase authorization from the current $23 billion to $35 billion.

"This transaction allows us to significantly increase the cash we plan to return to shareholders in 2013, to approximately $18 billion, and to continue to invest in our industrial business," GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement.

GE will book a $1 billion pretax gain from the sale, but says that will be offset by restructuring costs.

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