PNC works capital rules to expand stock buyback

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PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh has expanded its stock buyback program to $2.3 billion.

The $366 billion-asset PNC will add $300 million to its existing $2 billion program, a 15% increase. A $300 million buyback represents about 2.5 million PNC shares outstanding based on Monday’s closing price of $120.37, Sandler O’Neill analyst Scott Siefers wrote in a research note Tuesday. The shares were trading slightly lower, at $119.94, in mid-day trading Tuesday.

The Federal Reserve System did not object to the increase, PNC said.

PNC appears to be utilizing a little-known provision in the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review rules related to buybacks, Siefers said. The rule lets well-capitalized bank holding companies return up to 1% of Tier 1 capital to shareholders, on top of the company’s original CCAR plan. The $300 million addition that was announced Tuesday amounts to about 0.8% of PNC’s Tier 1 capital.

PNC passed last year’s round of stress-testing with a Tier 1 capital ratio of 7.6%.

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Capital Stress tests Buybacks PNC William Demchak