The shale oil producer had pledged to return half its free cash flow to investors in 2022 but will now begin doing so in the fourth quarter, the Midland, Texas-based company said in a statement Thursday. The board approved a $2 billion share buyback program to support the plan.
Increasing the base dividend will be the preferred method of cash return but shares will also be purchased “opportunistically” on the open market, Chief Executive Officer Travis Stice said in a statement.
The company will consider implementing a so-called variable dividend “when we expect the return on that repurchase to be less than our cost of capital at mid-cycle commodity prices,” Stice said.
The stock rose 3% to $82.45 in after-house trading in New York, after earlier falling 1.9%.