MGM Resorts International’s board of directors has given the green light to a new $2bn share repurchase programme. Simultaneously, the company announced the completion of its previous $1bn share repurchase programme which, from its start date in September 2017, has resulted in the buyback of circa 30 million shares.

Under the stock repurchase program, which is designed to return value to MGM’s shareholders, the company may repurchase shares from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated agreements. Repurchases of common stock may also be made under a Rule 10b5-1 plan, which would permit common stock to be repurchased when the firm might otherwise be precluded from doing so under insider trading laws.

“The latest share repurchase authorisation reflects the company’s financial strength and continued commitment to returning capital to our shareholders,” said Jim Murren, chairman and CEO. “We are pleased with the company’s strong balance sheet, which has allowed us to take a balanced approach to driving shareholder value through our quarterly dividend and share repurchase program, as well as continuing to invest in our properties and explore prudent growth opportunities.”

In a separate announcement, MGM also confirmed that it had been ranked number 76 on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers. The placing is a significant improvement on last year’s 236th spot

Other hospitality companies to make the list were: Hilton Hotels at No. 138; Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (No. 147); Hyatt Hotels (No. 186), and Marriott International (No. 216). Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands were on the list at 365 and 457, respectively.

“We take employee engagement very seriously at MGM Resorts,” commented Michelle DiTondo, the company’s senior vice president and chief human resources officer. “We have invested in several tools and initiatives to enrich the work experience and engage our 78,000 employees through a united company culture. But those tools only enhance what is already a strong workforce made up of amazing, dedicated people who understand the value of treating our guests, and each other, with care and dignity. It’s an honor to make the Forbes list.”