Verizon (VZ) has signed off on a buyback program good for repurchasing up to 100M shares through Feb. 28, 2017. The program, arriving two weeks after the Vodafone/Verizon Wireless deal officially closed, is in theory good for repurchasing nearly 2.5% of outstanding shares.
However, CFO Fran Shammo stated last month he doesn't expect Verizon to buy back any shares for at least 2-3 years, as it works to pay off the $60B+ in debt it took on to help finance the Vodafone deal.
Verizon has largely refrained from buybacks in recent years, keeping its options open as it made giant Verizon Wireless dividend payments to Vodafone. The carrier repurchased only 3.5M shares through a 100M-share, three-year program that expired last month.