This excerpt taken from the FULT 10-K filed Mar 16, 2005.
The Corporation periodically repurchases shares of its common stock under repurchase plans approved by the Board of Directors. These repurchases have typically been through open market transactions and have complied with all regulatory restrictions on the timing and amount of such repurchases. Shares repurchased have been added to treasury stock and are accounted for at cost. These shares are periodically reissued for stock option exercises, ESPP purchases, acquisitions or other corporate needs.
On November 19, 2004, the Corporation purchased 1.0 million shares of its common stock from an investment bank at a total cost of $22.0 million under an Accelerated Share Repurchase program (ASR), which allowed the shares to be purchased immediately rather than over time. The investment bank, in turn, is repurchasing shares on the open market over a period that is determined by the average daily trading volume of our shares, among other factors. The Corporation periodically settles its position with the investment bank by paying or receiving cash in an amount representing the difference between the initial price and the actual price of the shares repurchased. The Corporation expects the ASR to be completed during 2005.
Total treasury stock purchases, including both open market purchases and the ASR, totaled approximately 3.8 million shares in 2004, 3.2 million shares in 2003 and 2.8 million shares in 2002.