Del Monte Foods reported today that its board has authorized a share buyback of up to $200 million over the next 3 years. Currently, DLM has approximately 202.5 million common-stock shares outstanding for purchase. The company also announced a cash dividend of 4 cents per share, payable November 1 to shareholders of record as of October 18.
Del Monte shares have crept only fractionally higher as midday approaches. DLM plunged lower with the rest of the market in late July, but has failed to stage any kind of recovery as of yet. The stock's steeply descending 10-week moving average looms overhead, and DLM has not closed a session above its 10-day and 20-day trendlines since July 16.
The stock could be suffering from an undeserved wealth of investor optimism. DLM's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.14 reveals that calls outnumber puts by more than 5-to-1 among near-term options. Additionally, only 0.6% of the stock's available float has been sold short, resulting in a paltry short-interest ratio of 1.4 days to cover.