Stock Buybacks and Dividends: St. Jude Medical, Cabot Microelectronics, Electro Scientific Industries

The announcement of a $300M stock buyback plan gives St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) shares a boost — about 2.7% of outstanding shares at current levels. The increase comes despite a downgrade to Hold from Jefferies, based on its belief in a potential decline in St. Jude’s 2012 growth following the FDA’s rejection of its CardioMEMS heart sensor, and rising concerns about its Riata defilibration leads. STJ shares recently traded at $34.70, down $0.26, or 0.74%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $33.54 to $54.18. Volume today was 1,243,186 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,289,730 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 12.62, while trailing earnings are $2.75 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Chip equipment maker Cabot Microelectronics (NASDAQ:CCMP) soars after the company announces it will pay a $15/share special dividend in Q1. The firm has revealed that half of the cost of the dividend will be paid for by issuing debt, a move that no doubt pleased Whitney Tilson. Cabot also reports plans to expand the size of its stock buyback program from $83M to $150M. CCMP shares recently traded at $46.92, up $6.71, or 16.69%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $32.52 to $52.69. Volume today was 873,499 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 133,692 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 21.33, while trailing earnings are $2.20 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

Electro Scientific Industries (NASDAQ:ESIO) climbs after its board agrees to a quarterly cash dividend of $0.08 per share and a $20M stock buyback. The announcement is good news for the company, which supplies laser-based manufacturing solutions for the microtechnology industry, after a recent slump in orders that signaled hard times to come. ESIO shares recently traded at $13.01, up $0.51, or 4.08%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $10.81 to $20.85. Volume today was 45,490 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 129,564 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 16.83, while trailing earnings are $0.77 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>