SPIRNGDALE, Ark. –– Tyson Foods Inc.’s board of directors has reactivated a program to repurchase up to approximately 22.5 million shares of Tyson’s Class A common stock. The program, however, may be suspended or discontinued at any time. As of May 10, Tyson had approximately 309.5 million Class A shares outstanding.

“We have confidence in our company’s performance and are taking this opportunity to return capital to shareholders,” said Donnie Smith, Tyson’s president and chief executive officer. “For the past several years, our key priorities for using our cash were to pay down debt and to reinvest in our business. We have made significant progress on these efforts, and they will continue to be a focus. However, given the weakness in our share price, along with our strong liquidity, we believe accelerating the repurchase of shares is also an appropriate use of cash at this time.”

Through this program, Tyson will be permitted to purchase shares through multiple methods, including in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, in accordance with applicable securities laws. It does not obligate the corporation to make any repurchases at any specific time or situation.

The timing and extent to which Tyson repurchases its shares will depend upon market conditions, liquidity targets, the company’s debt obligations and regulatory requirements, among other things.

Tyson intends to begin repurchasing shares during its fiscal third quarter. The amount to be repurchased during this quarter is expected to be less than 25 percent of the total authorization. Decisions to repurchase additional shares in subsequent quarters will also be made based upon the prementioned factors.