likely sold chunk of Qwest shares
The phone company may have bought the shares, worth about
$250 million, in a buyback program.
By Andy Vuong, Staff Writer
Friday, January 12, 2007
Qwest founder Philip An
schutz, who has significantly trimmed his stake in the phone
company in recent months, likely sold 31 million more shares
this week, according to a Wall Street analyst.
The average price of the sale was $8.12 a share, for a total
value of roughly $250 million, JPMorgan analyst Jonathan
Chaplin wrote in a research note Thursday.
Chaplin speculated that Qwest purchased some of the shares
as part of its stock buyback program.
In November, Anschutz cut his direct holdings in Qwest to
roughly 66.4 million shares after selling and donating
nearly 80 million shares. Anschutz also sold shares in
June, July and October. In November 2003, he held 300.4
million Qwest shares.
Anschutz Co., the Denver financier's investment firm, has
typically entered into a "forward sale agreement" in which
the shares are sold over several quarters. The agreement
allows Anschutz to keep the voting rights of the shares
until they're sold.
Qwest spokeswoman Diane Reberger and Anschutz spokesman Jim
Monaghan declined to comment Thursday.
"We believe it is likely that the company purchased some, if
not all, of the shares sold ... under its share repurchase
program," Chaplin wrote in his note.
Qwest announced in October that it would buy back up to $2
billion of its stock over two years. Such buyback programs
can boost investor confidence in the company.
Qwest chief executive Dick Notebaert told The Post in
December that the buyback had already started.
Chaplin wrote in his note that he expects Qwest to have
repurchased at least $500 million to $750 million by the
time it files its 2006 annual report, which is usually filed
with regulators in February.
Qwest stock closed Thursday at $8.38, up 9 cents.
Staff writer Andy Vuong
can be reached at 303-954-1209 or