PALO ALTO, California ( TheStreet) -- Hewlett-Packard's ( HPQ) board has authorized a $10 billion share-buyback program, driving the company's stock price upward in premarket trading. HP shares rose 99 cents, or 2.61%, to $38.99 before market open as shareholders responded positively to the news. The buyback is equal to 11% of HP's market cap and follows a $2.6 billion share repurchase during the company's recent fiscal third quarter. The tech giant, which exited the third quarter with gross cash of $14.8 billion, said that the move will support its ongoing share-buyback efforts.
HP has been rarely out of the headlines in recent weeks, but is clearly keen to keep shareholders on its side. The tech bellwether, which has been locked in a bidding war with Dell (DELL) for 3Par ( PAR), is also hunting for a new CEO after the recent expenses scandal that led to the departure of Mark Hurd. The company's latest share repurchase follows an $8 billion buyback that was authorized in November last year. HP said that, as of July 31, the firm had approximately $4.9 billion of repurchase authorization remaining from the $8 billion. "HP has a strong balance sheet -- we expect to repurchase at least $3 billion worth of our shares in our fiscal fourth quarter at current price levels," said Cathie Lesjak, HP's CFO and interim CEO, in a statement. "This increased authorization will ensure that we have sufficient capacity to continue to be active in repurchasing our shares prior to our fiscal fourth quarter earnings announcement in November." --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com