LT Group, Inc. is planning to buy back up to P2-billion worth of shares from the stock market until the end of next year.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, the Lucio C. Tan-led company said its board of directors had approved the share buyback program which will start next Friday, March 20.

“[T]he board approved the corporation’s buyback program for the purpose of purchasing its shares from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) starting Mar. 20 until Dec. 31, 2021 for an amount of not more than P2 billion from its unrestricted retained earnings…,” it said.

It added these shares are intended to be resold to the market “when it is beneficial to the corporation.”

Shares in LT Group gained 11 centavos or 1.34% yesterday to close at P8.31 apiece. This is a 53% drop from its 52-week high of P17.60 per share.

Buyback programs are commonly done by companies to preserve share price when they think their shares are undervalued.

Aside from LT Group, companies that have announced approving share buyback plans or have increased the amount of existing programs are Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., Megawide Construction Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Land Inc.

The market has been highly volatile in recent weeks, falling to bear market territory this week after closing at 6,312.61 on Monday. The Philippine Stock Exchange index picked up 34.88 points or 0.55% yesterday to settle at 6,353.26.

Earnings of LT Group grew 17% to P14.72 billion in the nine months to September 2019, while total revenues increased 27% to P68.86 billion. — Denise A. Valdez