Lockheed Martin approves plans for $3bn share buy-back scheme

Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defence contractor, yesterday said its board approved a new share buyback plan of as much as $3bn (£1.9bn).

Lockheed said that through 26 September, it had bought back 169m common shares out of an existing authorisation of 178m shares. As of that date, the firm had about 360m common shares outstanding, it said. As part of the establishment of the new buyback, Lockheed said its 2002 share repurchase programme was terminated, effective 1 November.

The maker of fighter jets has taken moves to cut costs and reduce spending this year that include offering voluntary executive buyouts. Last week, it said contract delays in a tough global defence spending environment could pressure 2011 financial results.