NU Online News Service, June 25, 3:35 p.m. – MetLife, Inc., New York, announced today that it has terminated its automatic stock buyback program from the MetLife Policyholder Trust in order to give itself more flexibility in buying back its stock.

It established the trust in 2000 in connection with the demutualization of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

“This change will improve the company’s flexibility in determining the timing and amount of repurchases in its overall repurchase program, including purchases from the policyholder trust,” the company says.

From the company’s initial public offering in April 2000 through June 21, 2002, the company bought back about 84.9 million shares at a total cost of around $2.4 billion.

The company reaffirmed its intention to repurchase around $600 million of its common stock this year. The timing of future repurchases will depend on market conditions and other considerations, the company says.