In a statement released late Thursday, CSC said it would repurchase up to $2 billion in outstanding stock, a move that "concludes the board's process to explore strategic alternatives." CSC confirmed earlier this year reports that it was seeking a buyer. Hewlett-Packard and Lockheed Martin were among the companies said to have an interest in acquiring CSC, which specializes in providing technology services to the federal government and defense sector.
CSC's commercial outsourcing business may have hurt the sales effort. It's less robust than the government arm and was likely less attractive to potential buyers. Efforts to split the company into two units appear to have foundered on the complexity of any such deal. CSC's share price was off more than 10% in early trading Friday on the news.
Also Thursday, CSC said the SEC has requested information about its stock option program as part of the commission's widening investigation into the timing of employee stock option awards. Most of the companies under scrutiny are tech vendors, which frequently rely on such programs to attract top talent.