U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 59 mins

Edwards board OKs buyback of $750 million in stock

IRVINE, Calif. (AP) -- Heart device maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Tuesday that its board approved the repurchase of up to an additional $750 million of its outstanding common stock.

As of March 31, the company had about $140 million remaining under its previous $500 million stock buyback program, which was approved in 2011. Edwards said it expects to use the rest of the previous authorization during the second quarter of 2013.

In addition, Michael Mussallem, Edwards' chairman and CEO, will buy $5 million of newly issued shares of the Irvine, Calif.-based company's common stock.

Under a deal approved by the board, Mussallem will buy the shares on Wednesday for either that day's closing price, or for the average closing price for the 10 trading days that ended on Monday, whichever is higher, the company said.

Those shares will be issued under a private placement. Mussallem, who already holds 322,952 Edwards shares, said the purchase shows his confidence in the company's future growth and ability to innovate.

Also on Tuesday, Edwards said that Thomas Abate, its chief financial officer, plans to retire later this year after a 31-year career with the company.

Abate, 59, will remain CFO until a successor is in place. The company has hired Peter Crist of Crist/Kolder Associates to help find a replacement.

Abate became Edwards' CFO in 2006. He previously served as vice president and controller.

Edwards' shares rose $2.54, or 3.8 percent, to $69.88 in morning trading. The stock has changed hands between $62.34 and $110.79 in the past 52 weeks.