SEATTLE-Expecting to complete a $200-million share buyback program today, the board of directors of locally based REIT Plum Creek Timber Co. has authorized a new $200-million buyback program. CEO Rick Holley says the move underscores “conviction about the long-term value of our assets.”

Plum Creek repurchased 3.36 million shares, at an average price of $35.78 per share for the month of May and 0.90 million shares, at an average price of $36.08 per share for the month of June. The 4.26 million shares repurchased during the second quarter of 2006 reduced stock outstanding by approximately 2.3%.

Plum Creek is the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation, with 8.2 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the US. The company also owns and operates 10 wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest.

As with the old buyback program, the new program authorizes the company, at its own discretion, to buy back shares of its outstanding common stock from time to time with open-market purchases as market conditions warrant. “Through this program, we have acquired valuable timber and land assets at attractive values in the stock market, increasing our shareholders’ proportionate ownership interest in these assets,” Holley says.

In April, Plum Creek announced first quarter earnings of $94 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, on revenues of $414 million. Earnings for the first quarter of 2005 were $122 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, on revenues of $400 million.

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