Firm notes this is a definite positive for the shares, as investors have been anxiously awaiting a productive use of the ever-growing cash balance. At an avg. price of $60/share, the program would reduce share count by 8.33M shares, which if completed in 2008 would increase EPS estimate by $0.15, to $4.28 from $4.13. Based on CIBC's 19x target multiple, this could raise the calculated fair value of the shares by nearly $3, to $81. In the past 4 quarters, WFR has generated $457M of FCF, providing nearly all of the required funds for the share repurchase.
Firm believes the $500M authorization is larger than expectations, signaling optimistic prospects.
Notablecalls: The stock traded to $60 in after hours in reaction to the news. Looking at the chart, I feel there may be some more upside to WFR today. Just a gut feel, nothing more.