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Dow Plunge Sets Off Plans to Buy Back Stock

October 21, 1987|GREG JOHNSON | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Moving in the wake of Wall Street's historic plunge, Rohr Industries on Tuesday instituted a previously announced plan to buy back as many as 500,000 of the company's 17.5 million outstanding common shares.

Locally, Intermark and Great American First Savings Bank were studying the possibility of initiating repurchase programs after watching their stock prices drop on Monday.

La Jolla-based Henley Group, a diversified manufacturer that earlier this year unveiled a plan to buy back 20 million of its shares, acquired some of its stock on Tuesday, according to spokesman John Bold. However, Bold would not say how many shares the company bought back.

San Diego Gas & Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Thomas Page said the utility is not considering a stock repurchase "because we're trading at above book value."

Intermark's board of directors is considering a repurchase, according to Intermark Vice President Mitchell Woodbury. "We don't have anything planned now but sometimes prudence dictates that you do" buy back stock, Woodbury said.

Great American, a savings and loan, is considering a repurchase, despite the possibility of nettlesome tax consequences, Senior Vice President Roger Lindland said Tuesday.

Aerospace giant Rohr on Tuesday joined a growing list of public companies nationwide that hope to take advantage of Monday's record market plunge. Among the companies announcing or starting stock repurchase plans Tuesday were Allegis, Alaska Air Group, Honeywell and Citicorp.

The stock repurchase will be "a good investment for Rohr," according to Irving Katz, director of research for San Diego Securities. "They were trading at above 30 just two weeks ago and now they can buy the stock at 20."

Companies that began repurchasing stock on Tuesday see two benefits, according to another industry analyst. "They're getting it at a really cheap price and they're also improving the price of their stock in the process" by increasing demand, the analyst said.

Rohr's board initially approved the stock repurchase last year, but a company spokesman declined to comment on when Rohr's board met to begin the repurchase. Rohr now currently owns none of its 17.5 million outstanding shares, according to a spokesman.

Rohr's repurchased shares will be returned to the company's treasury and could be used for various employee benefit plans and for other corporate purposes, the company said.

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