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After posting decent third quarter 2012 financial results, New York-based manufacturer of fragrance and flavor products, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF - Analyst Report) declared a new share buyback program and payment of a quarterly cash dividend.

The company’s Board of Directors approved a $250 million common share repurchase program which is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2013. The program will be carried out in the open market or through private placement and will likely reduce the company’s shares outstanding by 4 million shares, or 5%.

In addition, the company also received approval for a quarterly dividend payment of 34 cents per share on December 28, to shareholders of record on December 21.

Dividend payments and share buybacks have been the company’s preferred way of rewarding its shareholders over time, having returned $1.9 billion over the last 10 years. Also, for nine months ended September 30, 2012, the company generated $143 million in cash from operating activities and paid dividends amounting to $75 million. Quarter ending the company had cash and cash equivalents of $97 million.

A strong balance sheet, shareholders’ rewards, International Flavors’ steady expansion through new business wins, substantial geographical diversifications, its wide product lines, continuous accomplishments in research and intense consumer insight are the attractive features of the company.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter is 84 cents, representing a year-over-year growth of 13.9%. Estimates for years 2012 and 2013 are $4.01 and $4.36, reflecting annual growth of 7.3% and 8.7%, respectively.

The company currently bears a Zacks Rank of #2, translating into a short-term Buy rating. It competes with other players including Estee Lauder (EL - Analyst Report) and Revlon Inc-A , both carrying Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

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