Supermarket operator Kroger said on Thursday its board authorized the repurchase of $500 million of Kroger stock to replace the $225 million remaining under an existing $1 billion share buyback plan.
The largest U.S. supermarket chain said it plans to use free cash flow to buy back shares, pay dividends and maintain its current debt rating.
The company has almost 2,500 U.S. supermarkets carrying banners such as Kroger, Ralphs, King Soopers, Fry's and Food 4 Less. It also operates convenience stores, jewelry stores, supermarket fuel centers and processing plants.
Kroger shares were unchanged at $20.26 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading.
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.