Pacific Northwest Amazon.com said Friday that it plans to buy back as much as $1 billion of stock in the next two years. The buyback by the...

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Amazon.com said Friday that it plans to buy back as much as $1 billion of stock in the next two years.

The buyback by the world’s largest Internet retailer is the biggest authorization since Amazon.com’s 1997 initial public offering and amounts to 3.3 percent of its outstanding stock. The Seattle company’s repurchase comes after the shares declined 23 percent this year before Friday.

Amazon.com’s stock more than doubled in 2007, reaching a high of $101.09 on Oct. 23. The buyback shows Amazon.com management thinks the shares are undervalued at its current price, said Scott Tilghman, an analyst at Soleil Securities.

Amazon stock jumped $2.59, or 3.7 percent, to $73.50 Friday. That followed a 3.5 percent stock gain Thursday.

Flow International

FTC wants details on buying rival

The Federal Trade Commission is taking a closer look at Kent-based Flow International’s plan to acquire a rival manufacturer of industrial water-jet machines.

Flow said Friday it will “respond promptly” to the FTC’s request for additional information and documents concerning its proposed purchased of Omax, also in Kent. The regulatory agency is reviewing the purchase under the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust act.

Flow announced in December it planned to pay about $109 million in cash and stock for the smaller firm, with potential additional payouts to Omax shareholders in two years of up to $26 million.

Although Flow is the leading maker of complete water-jets and Omax is its largest rival, Flow CEO Charley Brown said in December that there are more than 80 companies that sell such systems, used to cut metal, plastic, stone and glass.

Real estate

Work begins on 160-room hotel

Developers broke ground this week on a new 160-room hotel on Denny Way near Aurora Avenue North.

The seven-story Hyatt Place Hotel, at Sixth Avenue and Denny, is being built by Kauri Investments and Ariel Development, both of Seattle. It will be managed by Intermountain Management of Louisiana, and is scheduled to open in fall 2009.

The limited-service Hyatt Place will feature free Wi-Fi access and each room will have a 42-inch flat-panel television, the companies said in a written statement.

Kauri and Ariel also have announced plans for a 56-unit apartment building next door to the hotel.

Coinstar

Expansion plans send stock higher

Coinstar stock rose the most in more than a year and a half after an agreement to expand its counting machines and the DVD-rental kiosks of its Redbox unit in Wal-Mart locations.

Coinstar climbed $2.91, or 10 percent, to $31.97 Friday, the biggest increase since July 2006.

Compiled from Bloomberg News and Seattle Times staff