PLEASANTON, Calif. (AP) — Grocery store operator Safeway is boosting its stock repurchase program by $2 billion.
Its stock gained nearly 5 percent in Friday premarket trading.
Safeway Inc. said Friday that it had about $800,000 remaining under its previously authorized buyback through the end of the third quarter. Last week the chain announced that it plans to exit the Chicago market by early next year. Safeway said that shedding its Dominick’s stores in the Chicago area will allow it to concentrate on its more profitable business.
The company has 1,406 stores in the U.S.
Its shares rose 99 cents, or 3 percent, to $34.37 in premarket trading shortly before the market open. Its shares have risen almost 82 percent this year.