AMSTERDAM European aerospace group EADS EAD.PA pledged to prevent a planned share buyback penalizing future growth, capital spending or dividends as shareholders prepared to vote on Wednesday on proposals to repurchase up to 15 percent of the stock.
In speeches to a special shareholder meeting, the Airbus parent company left open its options on how to implement the scheme, whose potential value has risen sharply since it was first announced to more than 5 billion euros ($6.43 billion) at current prices.
Chief Executive Tom Enders said the operation would support higher earnings per share but that market conditions would determine exactly how EADS EAD.PA went ahead.
He said improved operating performance was likely to continue "for some time" and told investors that changes in the company's structure would not make EADS a takeover target.
($1 = 0.7777 euros)
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by James Regan)