Zoetis' board of directors has authorized a $500 million share repurchase program as part of its capital allocation plans.

The shares are expected to be repurchased at the discretion of management, depending on market conditions and business needs. The authorization allows for repurchases to be conducted through open market or privately negotiated transactions or otherwise. The announcement was made in conjunction with Zoetis Inc.’s Investor Day on November 18, 2014.

“A share repurchase program is an important tool for managing our allocation of capital, and it gives us additional flexibility to return capital to shareholders when it is not needed in the business,” said Paul Herendeen, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Zoetis. “We remain focused on investing capital internally to help grow the business, completing complementary business development activities that can generate additional value, and returning capital to shareholders as part of our total value proposition.”

Innovations driving growth

Dr. Alejandro Bernal, executive vice president and area president, Europe, Africa and Middle East region, cited the example of Poulvac E. coli vaccine as an example of how the company is responding quickly to regional market needs. Introduced into the poultry market in France in 2012, Poulvac had attained 46 percent market share in layers and breeders in France by the third quarter of 2014.

Dr. Catherine Knupp, executive vice president and president of research and development, Zoetis, said customer needs are what drive product development. She cited the example of the development of a porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus vaccine for the U.S. swine market to show how responsive the company can be. First identified in the U.S. in April 2013, Zoetis was able to develop a vaccine and gain a conditional license for its use on September 2, 2014, just 14 months after the virus isolates were obtained by Zoetis. Knupp reported that the company continues to work to find solutions for PED virus in other countries.