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Originally published Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 7:17 AM

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Bristol-Myers board OKs $3B share repurchase

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Tuesday its board authorized the repurchase of up to $3 billion of its common stock.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK —

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Tuesday its board authorized the repurchase of up to $3 billion of its common stock.

The New York company said the buyback program has no expiration date and will take place over the next few years. It said the decision reflects Bristol-Myers' strong financial position, which included $9.8 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of the first quarter.

Also Tuesday, stockholders at Bristol-Myers' annual meeting overwhelmingly rejected a couple of shareholder proposals. A total of 90 percent voted against a proposal that would require the company to identify in all future proxy statements every executive officer receiving compensation exceeding $500,000 a year.

Currently, the proxy statement only discloses compensation for the company's top five officers.

A total of 75 percent voted against a proposal that would require Bristol-Myers to increase its public reporting on its use of animals in research and product testing, as well as on its efforts and future goals toward eliminating use of research animals.

The company's board of directors opposed both proposals, according to a proxy statement filed earlier this year.

Bristol-Myers shares climbed 14 cents to close at $25.27 Tuesday.

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