WATERBURY, Conn. - Webster Financial Corp. said it intends to repurchase up to 10% of its shares over the next 24 months.

James C. Smith, president and chief executive officer of the $2.9 billion-asset holding company, said earnings are generating capital in excess of the amount needed to support business growth.

The company said the buyback is intended in part to offset dilution from conversion of convertible preferred stock.

Webster is the holding company for First Federal Bank.

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