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Sears to Buy Back Stock

The company authorizes up to $500 million of repurchases.
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Ed Lampert signaled more faith in shares of retail turnaround play

Sears Holdings


amid creeping Wall Street doubts.

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Sears said Wednesday its board approved the repurchase of up to $500 million of the company's common shares.

Sears' board is led by Lampert, the hedge fund guru of ESL Investments who orchestrated the merger between Sears and Kmart. Its stock has been one of the hottest on Wall Street for two years, but the shares have fallen 20% since mid-July and took a hit last week on what some perceived as lackluster second-quarter earnings.

The company had about 165 million shares outstanding at Aug. 31. It said the repurchased shares will be bought in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, depending on market conditions and other factors.

The shares were trading up $1.56, or 1.2%, to $131.81 Wednesday morning.