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Disney to buy up to $8 billion in shares in fiscal '14: CFO

Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, speaks at the UBS 40th Annual Global Media and Communications
Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, speaks at the UBS 40th Annual Global Media and Communications

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Media giant Walt Disney Co will increase its share buybacks to $6 billion to $8 billion in fiscal 2014, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo told investors on Thursday, sending shares up 3 percent.

In recent years, Disney has been buying back about $4 billion in shares annually, Rasulo said at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference. He said Disney can boost the buybacks while maintaining its credit rating. The company may borrow some cash "to provide capital at the tail end of that plan," he said.

The company's fiscal year begins in October.

Disney shares jumped 3.3 percent to $66.06 on the New York Stock Exchange after Rasulo's remarks.

Rasulo also said Disney will limit its spending on big films that are not part of established franchises. Rasulo previously projected Disney will lose up to $190 million in its expensive summer movie bomb "The Lone Ranger."

"We have learned there needs to be a cap on tentpole non-franchise movies," he said. "Going forward you will see a cap on spending on those movies."

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Chizu Nomiyama)

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