SAN DIEGO, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Gen-Probe Incorporated (Nasdaq: GPRO) announced today that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $150 million of the Company's common stock over the next year.
"Based on our healthy balance sheet and strong anticipated cash flows, we believe we can increase long-term shareholder value and offset dilution from employee option programs by buying back stock, while at the same time retaining the strategic and operational flexibility to invest appropriately in our business," said Herm Rosenman, Gen-Probe's senior vice president - finance, and chief financial officer.
Repurchases may occur from time to time and at Gen-Probe's discretion, depending on market conditions and other factors. Shares may be purchased on the open market or through private transactions, pursuant to Rule 10b5-1 trading plans or other available means.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, Gen-Probe had 48.5 million shares of common stock outstanding on a weighted average, diluted basis. As of December 31, 2010, the Company had $489.7 million of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, and $240.0 million of short-term debt. The Company pays interest on this debt at a rate 0.6% above the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), which was recently below 0.3%. Gen-Probe generated $169.6 million of cash from operating activities in 2010, while spending $30.7 million on property, plant and equipment, leading to free cash flow of $138.9 million.
Gen-Probe is a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of rapid, accurate and cost-effective molecular diagnostic products and services that are used primarily to diagnose human diseases, screen donated human blood, and ensure transplant compatibility. Gen-Probe has approximately 28 years of expertise in nucleic acid testing (NAT), and received the 2004 National Medal of Technology, America's highest honor for technological innovation, for developing NAT assays for blood screening. Gen-Probe is headquartered in San Diego and employs approximately 1,400 people. For more information, go to www.gen-probe.com.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Any statements in this news release regarding our expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not historical facts and are forward-looking statements. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as believe, will, expect, anticipate, estimate, intend, plan and would. For example, statements concerning future share repurchases are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Some of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions include but are not limited to: (i) the risk that unforeseen circumstances may prohibit Gen-Probe from executing its share repurchase program in whole or in part, (ii) the risk that share repurchases will not be accretive to earnings, (iii) the risk that Gen-Probe will not have adequate cash to execute on its strategic or operational initiatives, or will require debt to do so, and (iv) the risk that Gen-Probe's share price will not appreciate above the prices at which Gen-Probe repurchases shares. The foregoing list sets forth some, but not all, of the factors that could affect our ability to achieve results described in any forward-looking statements. For additional information about risks and uncertainties we face and a discussion of our financial statements and footnotes, see documents we file with the SEC, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and all subsequent periodic reports. We assume no obligation and expressly disclaim any duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release or to reflect the occurrence of subsequent events.
Vice president, investor relations and corporate communications
SOURCE Gen-Probe Incorporated