Japanese gaming company Universal Entertainment Corp has started buying back 600,000 of its shares worth JPY2 billion (US$18.53 million). The company told the Jasdaq Securities Exchange on Wednesday that the shares make up 0.76 percent of its outstanding stock, excluding treasury stock.
The company said it would buy back the shares in a period starting on Thursday and ending on June 30.
The buy-back will enable Universal Entertainment to “execute flexible capital policies that accommodate the reinforcement of the return of profits to shareholders and changes in the environment the company operates in”, the company’s announcement to the exchange said.
The company used the same language in a previous announcement to the stock exchange in October last year.
“Going forward, the company, which views the return of profits to its shareholders as one of its foremost management priorities, will follow up on this second acquisition of treasury stock with the active, ongoing implementation of measures for the return of profits to shareholders based on its financial status and trends in securities markets,” the company’s announcement added.
Universal Entertainment has sought to improve relations with its investors over the past year. The move has coincided with its ongoing public dispute with its founder and former boss, Japanese gaming magnate Kazuo Okada.
The company has said it would try to give investors more information, including results and key indicators of the quarterly performance of each of its main businesses.
On January 6, it was reported the Department of Justice of the Philippines had found cause to indict Mr Okada on three counts of swindling after he acquired “through mistake or fraud” US$3.15-million in salary and consultancy fees while he was heading Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, a Universal Entertainment subsidiary.
The Reuters news agency said that a Paranaque City regional trial court had ordered the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to present Mr Okada to court. The arrest warrant was issued last Friday and made public Sunday.
Universal Entertainment has said Mr Okada’s legal issues will not affect its operations.
Last month the company reduced its forecast for net profit for last fiscal year to JPY176.7 billion from JPY194.6 billion. It reported the month before that it had made a net profit of JPY167.97 billion in the first nine months of last year.
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"The increased focus we can now bring to our gaming and amusement business [after a spin-off of the firm's cash-handling product business] will bring us closer to the customer as we align our offerings more directly with their needs"
Global president of casino equipment supplier SuzoHapp