Roundup: Orbital Sciences, XM, Freddie Mac

From staff and wire reports

*Orbital Sciences, a satellite and rocket manufacturer in Dulles, said its board authorized the repurchase of up to $50 million of its common stock. The 12-month buyback replaces a previous $50 million program -- under which Orbital acquired $45.2 million of common stock -- that expires next week. Since Orbital began repurchasing common stock in 2004, it has bought back $153 million, or 9.6 million shares. The repurchase "demonstrates Orbital's commitment to building long-term value for our shareholders through capital structure enhancements," chairman and chief executive David W. Thompson said in a statement.

*The proposed merger of Sirius Satellite Radio and District-based XM Satellite Radio was opposed by Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio and Washington state, which say the combination of the only pay radio companies would pose a threat to competition. They asked the Federal Communications Commission to reject the merger.

*Fannie Mae said its mortgage portfolio grew at a 2 percent annual rate in March after regulators loosened capital requirements. The government-chartered company's portfolio expanded by $1.19 billion to $722.7 billion in March from February, District-based Fannie Mae said.
Fannie Mae said it sold or liquidated $14.6 billion in loans and mortgage bonds and made $15.8 billion in new purchases in March, the most that Fannie Mae has bought in a single month since October.

*Freddie Mac said its lead director, Shaun O'Malley, plans to retire after the mortgage finance firm's annual shareholder meeting in June. O'Malley, 72, has served on Freddie Mac's board since September 2001 and became lead director in December 2003. He served as chairman for about six months in 2003.
A new lead director will be named after the shareholder meeting.

*Apparel maker VF said the chief executive of Sprint Nextel resigned from its board of directors, effective immediately. Dan Hesse, 54, resigned to focus on business commitments, the company said.He was named to the board in 1999 and served as a member of its finance and compensation committees.

*AOL bought the Fleaflicker Web site for an undisclosed amount to target fantasy sports players. Fleaflicker, a free service that lets players create fictional football teams, will operate independently and will also be integrated into AOL's sports site.

By Terri Rupar  |  April 25, 2008; 5:43 PM ET  | Category:  Roundup
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