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Heartland Payment approves $75M stock buyback

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) -- Heartland Payment Systems Inc. said Tuesday that its board approved a stock buyback program of up to $75 million after the payments processor used up a $50 million fund.

One reason companies buy back their own stock is to offset the effect of paying employees in stock and options. Buying back shares also helps support a company's earnings per share.

The older buyback fund, which went into effect last November, repurchased nearly 1.7 million shares at an average price of $29.98 per share.

Heartland's stock closed at $31.30 on Monday. Over the past 12 months, shares have risen 3.3 percent. They hit an all-time high of $34.26 on April 30, the day the company reported its first-quarter results.

The Princeton, N.J., company's profit rose 42 percent in the January-March period, buoyed by improving card processing volumes. Heartland's outlook for the year was also above Wall Street's view.