$17.7 million returned to shareholders in December
In addition to funding acquisitions to support its robust growth, the additional cash that Zynga (ZNGA) is planning to raise through means such as selling its building in San Francisco may end up in the pockets of its shareholders. Zynga is planning to transfer up to $200 million to its shareholders through a stock repurchase program.
Zynga has returned ~$26 million to its shareholders under its current repurchase program, leaving it with $174 million remaining at the end of the fourth quarter. The company repurchased $17.7 million worth of its shares in the quarter.
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Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) returned $292 million and $108.9 million, respectively, to their shareholders through stock repurchases in the fourth quarter. On its part, Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is planning to return $1.5 billion to its shareholders through a new stock repurchase program.
Zynga bought back 67 million shares under a previous program
The other digital companies that have lined up sizable stock repurchase programs include Facebook (FB) and Alphabet (GOOGL). In December 2018, Facebook boosted its repurchase program with an additional $9.0 billion. The company had added another $9.0 billion to the program in April 2018. On its part, Alphabet announced an $8.6 billion stock repurchase program at the start of 2018.
Under its previous stock repurchase program, Zynga bought back 67 million shares at an average price of $2.99 each, thereby transferring $200 million in cash to its shareholders. Zynga generated $90 million in operating cash flow in the fourth quarter, its highest level in eight years.