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Qantas moves to improve share price


Qantas Airways will spend $100 million to buy back about four per cent of its issued stocks in a move to strengthen its dwindling share price.

The airline has also announced it will repay $650 million of debt ahead of its due date as it moves to strengthen its balance sheet.

"The board believes the current Qantas share price does not reflect fair value of the group, particularly considering the underlying strength of its domestic, loyalty and Jetstar businesses and the proposed partnership with Emirates," chairman Leigh Clifford said in a statement on Thursday.

Qantas shares last traded at $1.23, well down on the $1.815 they were worth at the end of March - their highest point in the last 12 months.

Share buy-backs reduce the number of shares on issue, typically increasing the trading price of the shares, as well as the returns for shareholders.

"The share buy-back and accelerated debt reduction reflect the board's goal of returning value to shareholders and maintaining a strong balance sheet, as well as retaining the flexibility to pursue current growth initiatives," Mr Clifford added.

The debt to be repaid was due in June 2013, but will now be repaid in January, Qantas said.