Prudential Financial Inc. PRU, -5.39% disclosed Thursday that it has authorized the repurchase of $2 billion worth of its stock in 2019. Based Tuesday’s stock closing price of $89.18, the financial products and services company, with over $1 trillion in assets under management, could buy back about 22.4 million shares, or 5.4% of the shares outstanding. Separately, the company said it expects 2019 earnings per share of $12.50 to $13.00, which is based on the assumption that the S&P 500 SPX, -3.24% will rise 4% next year from the current level of around 2,700. Under an alternative scenario in which the S&P 500 ends 2018 at 2,800, and rises 6% next year, the EPS guidance would be $21.75 to $13.25. The FactSet 2019 EPS consensus is $12.97. Prudential expects 2019 adjusted return on equity at the higher end of its 12%-to-13% guidance. The stock, which rose 0.3% in premarket trade, has shed 22.4% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 SPX, -3.24% has gained 1.0%.
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