AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- With $1.3 billion in cash on hand, Whole Foods may buy back another $300 million of its common stock, adding to an existing repurchase fund of $171 million.
Combined, the $471 million represents about 3 percent of the natural grocery store chain's 185.5 million outstanding shares, Whole Foods said Tuesday.
Reducing the amount of outstanding stock is one way companies can reward investors. Doing so can make an individual shareholder's stake more valuable and boost earnings per share.
Whole Foods also said earlier this month that it's raising its dividend 43 percent.
Based in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market Inc., has 343 stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Profit in its most recent quarter jumped nearly 50 percent as sales grew at existing stores and the company expanded.