In a notification document accompanying today's Q3 financial reports, Nintendo has confirmed plans to acquire up to ten million of its own shares up to 31st March, the end of the financial year.
This isn't uncommon, as Nintendo already holds 13,793,439 of these Treasury shares, though the planned increase is still a significant volume. There is speculation, and it is only that at the moment, that some of these shares will be those currently owned by the estate of former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, which held 14,165,000 shares as of 30th September — Yamauchi-san sadly passed away on 19th September 2013.
Nintendo has set the following restrictions on its planned share acquisition:
- Up to 10,000,000 shares (7.82% of the total number of shares outstanding excluding treasury shares)
- Total amount of acquisition Up to 125,000,000,000 yen
As highlighted above, the company will aim to do this by 31st March, and the expenditure is likely part of the reasoning for such meaty projected losses; that explains why the company won't want any of this acquisition cost falling into the next financial year. 125,000 million Yen, for reference, is around $1214.3 million / £732.3 million / €887.1 million — naturally Nintendo may not spend the full amount.
The chart below also gives some context of the overall picture, as of 30th September 2013 — there are a total of 141,669,000 shares in Nintendo.
This seems like a bold move, but Nintendo may be aiming to consolidate its position and acquire shares while they're at a relatively low point — the current share value is around the same as it was for large parts of 2013, prior to the sudden leap and then similarly sized drop earlier this month.