Northrop CEO calls buybacks "very, very good use" of cash

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:24pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) continues to view share buybacks as a "very, very good use" of its cash, Chief Executive Wes Bush told analysts on Wednesday.

The company said it repurchased about 4.4 million shares for $290 million during the third quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to 13.6 million shares for about $850 million.

Bush said Northrop believe share repurchases were particularly important to maintain value for shareholders given the long cycles involved in the defense business.

The company's board recently increased its remaining share repurchase authorization to $2 billion, he said, which gave the company additional flexibility in a dynamic environment.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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