Chase Carey 21st Century Fox
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Fox will complete the program over the next year

Investors in 21st Century Fox breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after COO Chase Carey announced a plan to buy back $4 billion in stock for the first time.

21st Century Fox debuted its stock in July after splitting from News Corp. in June.  Since then, Wall Street has wondered just how much the newly launched shares would benefit investors.

The buyback plan, which Carey said he expected to execute over the next 12 months, should give increased confidence to shareholders that management has placed a priority on shareholder friendly capital allocation long-term.

Carey Made his comments during Fox’s investor day on Thursday. Analysts have gathered in the Fox lot to hear remarks from Carey, studio chairman Jim Gianopulos and News Corp. topper Rupert Murdoch.

While Thursday’s announcement is new, the buyback still falls under News Corp.’s previously announced plan to repurchase $10 billion in stock.  To date, the company has repurchased $7 billion, but slowed down the program during the split. Many analysts had expected Fox to announce a buyback plan of between $4 billion and $6 billion, as all of the major conglomerates have launched aggressive share repurchase programs.

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