Janus' stock price may have risen too much for its executives to buy the company, but that does not mean that they believe it is overpriced. Monday, the Janus board authorized the purchase of up to $500 million of Janus shares. The move extends and adds to a stock repurchase program that had been set to expire at the end of 2006.
Janus had used up all but $124 million of the existing $500 million of repurchases authorsied by the board by the end of 2005.
"Our board remains committed to returning value to our stockholders," said Janus CEO and Chief Investment Officer Gary Black. "We continue to believe our stock is an excellent investment and that buying back shares is a good use of our capital."
Last month it was reported that the recent steep rise in the price of Janus shares had scuttled plans for a management led buyout of the fund firm.
Janus officials disclosed that the board had approved an amendment to the company's bylaws that will allow a
majority-vote standard for the election of directors in uncontested elections. Previously, the company had
used a plurality vote standard in those elections. Under the new standard that takes effect in April, a
director who fails to win a majority of votes in a board election will will offer to tender his or her resignation to the board. After considering the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee's recommendation, the board will determine whether to accept, reject or take other action, and will publicly disclose its decision.
"Our shareholders believe a majority-vote standard makes directors even more accountable to stockholders -- and we agree," said Steve Scheid, chairman of Janus Capital Group's board.
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