Wal-Mart plans $15 billion in stock buybacks

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it is planning $15 billion in stock buybacks.

The program replaces the current $15 billion share repurchase program begun in 2011. About $712 million is left under that program, Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley says.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its annual shareholders’ meeting Friday with the typical fanfare, with Hugh Jackman hosting and John Legend singing, as it plans to make the case it is improving the way it does business overseas.

The world’s largest retailer faces increasing scrutiny from investors over how it has handled allegations of bribery in its Mexican operations that surfaced a year ago.

Wal-Mart is considered an economic bellwether because it accounts for nearly 10 per cent of nonautomotive retail spending in the U.S.