As can be seen on the portfolio page of this blog ASFI is my highest conviction pick, but since buying it half a year ago my conviction level has been dropping because of the lack of share buybacks. A cash rich and undervalued company is great, especially if that cash is used to buy back undervalued shares. ASFI announced in June 2011 a share buy back for $20M worth of shares (significant for a ~120M market cap company), but totally failed executing it (buying back less than $0.5M worth of shares).
Last Friday ASFI announced a new share repurchase program, again for $20M, but this time under Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to the company this should make it easier to repurchase shares:
A plan under Rule 10b5-1 allows a company to repurchase its shares at times when it otherwise might be prevented from doing so under insider trading laws or because of self-imposed trading blackout periods.
Hopefully the company will be able to deliver on the repurchases this time.
Author is long ASFI