Zale Adds $100 Million to Repurchase Program

Zale Corp.’s board of directors has authorized an increase of $100 million as part of the company’s stock repurchase program.

The new authorization is in addition to the $200 million repurchase authorization disclosed in November of 2007, the Dallas-based jewelry retailer said Wednesday. As previously announced, the company expects to retire approximately 11 million shares once the $200 million repurchase is complete. Currently, approximately $60 million is available under the previous authorization. The new authorization is expected to be executed through open market purchases, including through 10b5-1 plans and other means.

“As we have stated, the company is committed to the generation of free cash flow through operational efficiencies, refinements in capital expenditures and a reduction in inventory levels,” said Rodney Carter, executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and chief financial officer. “This additional authorization underscores Zale’s commitment to prudent uses of capital and is another step designed to generate value for shareholders over the long-term.”

Zale Corp. is a leading specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America, operating throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico in 2,167 retail locations. Its brands include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon’s Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda. Zale also operates online at www.zales.com and www.gordonsjewelers.com.