MEDICAL : ICN Takes Advantage of Stock’s Low, OKs Repurchase of 4 Million Shares

Compiled by John Charles Tighe, Times staff writer

To take advantage of the company’s low stock price, directors of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently authorized the firm to purchase up to 4 million shares of ICN common stock. ICN said it will buy the shares over a 3-year period.

Under two previously announced buyback programs, the company was authorized to purchase up to 6 million shares of stock. So far, 5.5 million shares have been repurchased under the programs. On Nov. 30, ICN had 15.8 million shares outstanding, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said the repurchase plan reflects ICN’s strong earnings performance for its fiscal 1988 and its belief that shares are undervalued at current prices. ICN reported net income of $17.8 million, with revenue of $166 million, for fiscal 1988 ended Nov. 30.

ICN stock has been trading most of this year at about $6.50 per share on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock price was as high as $30 per share in 1987.