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The Sniff Test: Turns out Imax would rather pay its shareholders than its employees

Imax Corp.’s stock had tumbled fast to a four-year low amid concerns over a disappointing start to the summer movie season, so the theater chain made a choice: It would take action to make investors happy, even at the expense of employees.

The company announced this week a new $200 million stock-repurchase program with board authorization through June 2020. At Monday’s closing price of $24, which was the lowest close since June 24, 2013, the program would allow Imax to buy back 8.33 million shares, or 12.5% of the shares outstanding.

That helps reward shareholders, as reducing the share count increases earnings per share, while introducing an additional buyer supports market valuation.

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