Share buybacks are not the sole province of large banking companies, as several smaller banks and thrifts are proving.

Liberty Bancorp, MBT Financial Corp., and Pittsburgh Financial Corp. added themselves to the list of companies that are taking advantage of buybacks, which reduce the number of shares outstanding and lift earnings per share and return on equity. Liberty Bancorp of Avenel, N.J., said last week that its board approved the repurchase of up to 148,067 shares, or 10% of outstanding stock. And MBT Financial Corp., the holding company for Monroe Bank and Trust, based in Monroe, Mich., announced plans to buy back up to 2 million shares of its common stock, also about 10%, over a two-year period beginning Jan. 1.

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