The board of directors at CKE Restaurants, parent of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., has authorized an expansion of its stock repurchase program by $50 million, for a new limit of $150 million.

The company’s stock repurchase program was initially put into effect in April 2004, with a limit of $20 million, which the board increased to $50 million in July 2006 and to $100 million in October 2006. CKE has used about $89.4 million under this program, leaving an available balance of about $60.6 million.

“We are very pleased to announce the expansion of our stock repurchase program for the third time this fiscal year,” said Andy Puzder, president and chief exec, in a prepared statement. “Our improved operating results and financial position continue to provide the company the ability to return capital to our stockholders. We believe that the repurchase of our shares continues to represent an attractive investment opportunity.”

News, Carl's Jr., CKE, Hardee's