UPDATE 1-Baxter to buy back $2 bln stock
*Baxter to buyback $2 bln stock
*less than $300 mln remaining from previous repurchase
*Baxter shares up 1.7 percent
NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) - The board of Baxter International Inc (BAX.N) authorized the repurchase of an additional $2 billion of shares once the company completes its current buyback program.
The Deerfield, Illinois-based company said on Tuesday that it has less than $300 million remaining under its current $2 billion share repurchase authorization, which commenced in March 2008.
The company also declared a regular quarterly dividend of 26 cents per share of common stock.
"The continuation of our share repurchase program reflects our confidence in achieving longer-term objectives while investing in R&D (research and development) and new business development opportunities," Chief Financial Officer Robert Davis said in a statement.
Shares of Baxter, which is developing a pandemic flu vaccine and sells blood therapy products and intravenous drug pumps, were up 91 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $55.50 in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by I-Ching Ng, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)