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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

Chairman Buys Shares

September 17, 1997|James S. Granelli

FOOTHILL RANCH — Designer sunglasses maker Oakley Inc. said Tuesday that its chairman, Jim Jannard, is buying up to 1 million more shares of stock, which would bring his total stake in the company to 53.2%.

Jannard, who notified the company of his intent to buy more shares subject to market conditions, said he believed Oakley's stock is "substantially undervalued." It closed Tuesday at $11.38 a share, down 13 cents in New York Stock Exchange trading. Both Jannard and the company have previously tried to bolster the company's sagging stock price after last December's announcement that Sunglass Hut International Inc., its main customer, had canceled or delayed orders for its upscale sunglasses. That announcement sent the company's stock reeling to a low of $8.38 in February.

Early this year, Jannard bought 1 million shares on the open market. He also purchased another 1 million shares, most of it last week, to raise his stake to 51.7%.

The company bought 757,100 shares as part of a plan to repurchase 3 million shares, then put the plan on hold last spring.

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