will buy back up to 5 million common shares, the company said Thursday.

The department store chain has already repurchased about 4.05 million shares under a previous buyback plan, authorized in August 1999, that covered 5 million shares. The company has about 141.8 million shares outstanding. Yesterday,

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took a deeper look at recent

corporate buyback activity.

Saks, which is based in Birmingham, Ala., was unchanged in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading at $13.02.