Pacific Northwest Starbucks plans to buy back as many as 10 million additional shares. The buyback by the largest U.S. coffee-shop chain is worth...

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Pacific Northwest

Starbucks


Starbucks plans to buy back as many as 10 million additional shares.

The buyback by the largest U.S. coffee-shop chain is worth $522.4 million based on yesterday’s closing price. Since September 2001, Seattle-based Starbucks has repurchased 27.2 million shares for $1 billion, the company said yesterday.

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“Starbucks business performance continues to generate strong cash flow, which enables us to execute further share buybacks,” Chief Financial Officer Michael Casey said in a statement.

Starbucks stock climbed $1.63, or 3.2 percent, to $52.24 yesterday.

Unova

Shares gain 17% on analyst’s rating

Shares of Unova, which makes hand-held scanners for collecting data, rose 17 percent after an analyst raised his rating on the Everett company’s stock, citing growth potential in the bar-coding and mobile-computing markets.

The shares climbed $2.88 to $19.88 yesterday.

Unova reported Wednesday that first-quarter profit fell 67 percent and revenue rose less than 2 percent.

The numbers “are relatively solid results compared to” Unova’s competitors, Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Reik Read said in a note yesterday to investors. He raised his rating on Unova’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral.”

Holmes Harbor

Guilty plea entered in bond-fraud case

A patent attorney from Snohomish, Edward Tezak, yesterday pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in the Holmes Harbor bond fraud case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.

Tezak, 45, will be sentenced on June 17 along with three of the four other defendants who previously pleaded guilty.

The defendants persuaded the Holmes Harbor Sewer District on Whidbey Island to issue $20 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance an office park supposedly to be built near Everett’s Paine Field. Tezak provided letters falsely claiming Goldman Sachs was prepared to lend $63 million in private financing for the project, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Nation / World

Merck

Drugmaker replaces CEO Gilmartin

The other shoe finally dropped at drugmaker Merck.

With lawsuits mounting, revenue, profit and stock price all down sharply since it recalled its blockbuster painkiller Vioxx, and its top drug losing patent protection, Merck yesterday replaced longtime CEO and chairman Raymond Gilmartin.

Richard Clark, head of Merck’s manufacturing operations, was named president and chief executive, but how much power he will wield is in question. Merck’s board chose to go without a chairman for up to two years, giving those duties to a new, three-member executive committee headed by heavyweight board member Lawrence Bossidy, former CEO of Honeywell International.

Compiled from Bloomberg News, Seattle Times business staff and The Associated Press.