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Merrill Sets Big Buyback

Its board authorizes the repurchase of up to $6 billion of stock.
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Merrill Lynch


said its board authorized the repurchase of up to $6 billion of the company's common stock.

The securities concern will buy back shares from time to time, depending on market conditions.

"This authorization will enable us to continue to be active and flexible in managing our equity capital," said Jeff Edwards, chief financial officer, in a press release. "We seek to balance increasing our return on equity and growing our book value per share. To achieve this goal, our primary focus is to deploy capital into profitable growth opportunities."

Shares of Merrill Lynch were gaining 1.4% to $91.35 in premarket trading Monday.