Oracle's

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board authorized the company to buy back an additional $3 billion of common stock under its existing share repurchase plan.

The software company said the plan is primarily designed to offset the dilutive effects of additional stock issued under stock option and employee stock purchase programs.

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The company's board first approved a repurchase plan in 1992 and has previously authorized the buyback of almost 1.1 billion shares over the years.

Shares of Oracle, which is based in Redwood City, Calif., gained 42 cents, or 2.5%, to $17.58 in recent

Nasdaq

trading.