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More County Firms Jump at Chance to Buy Back Stock

October 22, 1987|MARIA L. La GANGA | Times Staff Writer

Two more Orange County companies joined the ranks of post-crash bargain hunters Wednesday, announcing plans to buy back large amounts of their common stock at what they consider fire-sale prices.

Anaheim-based Carl Karcher Enterprises announced that its board of directors had unanimously approved a program to repurchase 400,000 shares for up to $5.6 million.

Donald Karcher, company president and chief operating officer, said in a statement that the decision was made "because we believe that the company's common stock purchase presents an attractive investment opportunity at current prices."

Karcher stock closed Wednesday at $14.375, up $2.375 for the day.

Irvine-based Fidelity National Financial, an insurance company with offices in 29 states, said its board of directors has authorized buying as many as 200,000 shares of common stock in the open market or through private purchases.

"The company believes its common stock to be an attractive investment at current market prices," a company spokesman said in a prepared statement.

Fidelity stock closed at $6.375 Wednesday, up $1.50 from Tuesday. At that price, it would cost the company $1.3 million to buy 200,000 shares.

An official at AFG Industries, which decided Monday to buy up to 4 million shares of its crash-ravaged stock, said that the company had purchased about 250,000 shares Tuesday for $5.6 million. The average price paid by AFG was about $22.40 per share.

There is no timetable for buying more shares, said Gary Miller, vice president of finance for the Irvine-based manufacturer of flat-glass products.

"We are just monitoring the market," Miller said Wednesday. "We'll be purchasing from time to time."

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