PLEASANTON, Calif., Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Thoratec Corporation (NASDAQ: THOR), a world leader in device-based mechanical circulatory support therapies to save, support and restore failing hearts, announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $150 million of the company's shares of common stock. The company's prior authorization expired in early November. As part of the new authorization, the company has entered into a $75 million Accelerated Share Repurchase (ASR) agreement with J.P. Morgan, which will begin immediately. The balance of the authorization will be available for utilization at the company's discretion through the end of 2013. Under the ASR agreement, Thoratec will receive approximately 1.5 million shares at the inception of the program. The total number of shares ultimately purchased under the agreement will be determined upon final settlement, using the volume-weighted average price of the Company's common stock over a period of time of up to 4.5 months. "We remain enthusiastic about the future for Thoratec, based on our market opportunity in both chronic and acute circulatory support, our competitive position, and our pipeline of new technologies. This repurchase authorization reflects our confidence in the long-term strength of the company, as well as our commitment to a disciplined capital deployment strategy," said Gary F. Burbach, President and Chief Executive Officer. "While our top priority is to fund our internal growth initiatives and pursue strategic opportunities, our current cash position coupled with ongoing strong cash flow generation provides us the opportunity to continue returning value to shareholders through additional share repurchase activity," added Taylor C. Harris, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. During the first nine months of 2012, Thoratec generated $109 million of cash flow from operating activities, an increase of over 25% relative to the comparable period in 2011. As of September 29, 2012, the company had approximately $308 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments. Repurchases will take place on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions from time to time based on market and other conditions. The program is effective immediately, and except for the ASR, it may be modified, suspended, terminated or extended by the company at any time without prior notice.