Eaton board authorizes stock repurchase

CLEVELAND, OH....Eaton Corporation's Board of Directors today authorized the company to spend up to $500 million to purchase shares of its common stock to enhance shareholder value and to avoid any dilution of share earnings resulting from recently announced agreements to divest the axle/brake and appliance controls businesses. The board announced the decision following its regular monthly meeting.

Under the board's authorization, the company may purchase the shares at any time over a five-year period. This authorization is in addition to the five million share repurchase program authorized by the board in December 1994. Approximately 2.5 million shares have been purchased under that program, which is intended to offset exercise of stock options by employees. Approximately half of the authorization remains.

Stephen R. Hardis, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "At the recent prices we have seen for major acquisitions, we believe that purchase of Eaton shares represents the best value for our shareholders. While we continue to look for attractive major acquisitions, we are not going to compromise our value criteria. Over time, patience and selectivity should serve us well."

Eaton Corporation is a global manufacturer of highly engineered products which serve industrial, vehicle, construction, commercial and semiconductor markets. Principal products include electrical power distribution and control equipment, truck transmissions and axles, engine components, hydraulic products, ion implanters and a wide variety of controls. Headquartered in Cleveland, the company has 55,000 employees and 155 manufacturing sites in 26 countries around the world. Sales for 1996 were $7 billion.



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Renald Romain