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Zimmer Holdings OKs $1 billion buyback program

WARSAW – Orthopedic device maker Zimmer Holdings Inc.’s board has authorized a new share repurchase plan of up to $1 billion effective Jan. 1.

The Warsaw-based company said Monday that buybacks under the new program will be made in the open market or privately negotiated transactions. It also said no further repurchases will be made after the end of this year under an existing repurchase program that was authorized through Dec. 31, 2014.

Zimmer makes orthopedic reconstructive, spinal and trauma devices, dental implants and related surgical products. It had about 171 million shares outstanding as of Oct. 25.

The company also said Monday it will pay a quarterly cash dividend totaling 20 cents per share on or around Jan. 31 to shareholders of record as of the close of business Dec. 27. That matches the dividend paid for the third quarter.

Shares of Zimmer rose 50 cents, to $91.01, in morning trading Monday. The stock has climbed 37 percent since closing 2012 at $66.66 a share.