By Sofia Horta e Costa \ @SofiaHC1
Xiaomi Corp.’s shares have barely moved since the company began buying its own stock. What gives? …
The Chinese smartphone maker said it’s bought almost 20 million of its Class B shares since Jan. 17.
But because it hasn’t yet canceled them and some employees exercised their stock options at the same time, the number of those outstanding shares has actually increased by about 11.4 million in the period, according to the filings.
That means investors’ slice of the pie has shrunk — the opposite of what normally happens following a buyback.
Dilution — or dividing a company into more pieces — will reduce Xiaomi’s earnings-per-share unless it cancels some repurchased shares.
The company still has almost two months to buy back stock before a blackout period typically enforced two weeks prior to earnings, expected in late March.
Billions of Xiaomi shares were unlocked for sale this month after the six-month lockup period that followed the company’s debut expired.
That enabled many shareholders to join the selling, sending the stock to a record low on Jan. 16. Xiaomi fell as much as 1.1 percent on Wednesday, before paring the drop to trade little changed.
The stock lost about 30 percent in the six months that followed its Hong Kong debut, the city’s worst-performing initial public offering with a value of at least $3 billion.