James Hardie shares are soaring on a share buyback

Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Shares in James Hardie soared after the building products company announced a share buyback and a special dividend.

The company will pay a second-half dividend of US 27 cents per share and a full year special dividend of US 22 cents.

A new share buyback program will acquire up to 5% of issued capital in the next 12 months, depending on price.

Full year profit was up 12% to $US221.4 million. Sales were up 11% to $US1.657 billion for the 12 months.

CEO Louis Gries says the US and European business delivered significant earnings growth.

The company expects to see moderate growth in the US housing market. Sales from Australia are expected to grow, tracking in line with growth in the housing market.

Its shares are up almost 12% to $17.02.

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