AFC Enterprises (Nasdaq: AFCE) announced its Board of Directors has approved increasing its share repurchase program, expanding the program from $50 million to $100 million, effective immediately.
The program, which is open-ended, will allow the company to repurchase its shares on the open market from time to time in accordance with the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission. AFC continues to generate strong free cash flow, which the company intends to use to fund the additional repurchase authorization.
AFC announced its initial share repurchase program on July 22, 2002. During the third quarter of 2002, AFC repurchased almost 2.3 million shares of its common stock on the open market for $48 million.
The company also announced third quarter results. Domestic systemwide comparable store sales were down 2.7%, against projected flat estimates, from a rise of 4% in the previous year period. Comparable store sales at each of the four major brands, Popeye’s(-1.7%), Church’s(-3.7%), Cinnabon(-6.6%), and Seattle Coffee(-1.6%), were negative.