What happened

Shares of Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) rose 8.1% on Friday after the company announced a new board appointment and share-repurchase program. More specifically on the latter, Urban Outfitters authorized the repurchase of 20 million common shares, incremental to the roughly 985,354 shares remaining under its current authorization.

On the former, Urban Outfitters expanded its board from nine members to 10 members and elected Sukhinder Singh Cassidy as a director. Ms. Cassidy, for her part, most recently served as CEO of Polyvore, was president of Google's Asia Pacific and Latin America regions, and was an early business-development executive at Amazon.

A collage of Urban Outfitters products, including shirts, hats, and shoes


So what

"We are delighted to have Sukhinder Singh Cassidy join our board as an independent director," added Urban Outfitters chairman Richard Hayne. "She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience about our fast-growing digital channel, and I believe she will help guide our digital and omni-channel strategies so we can continue that growth."

For perspective on Urban Outfitters' new capital-returns effort, note that those 20 million shares represent more than a quarter of the company's entire float, and roughly 18% of total shares outstanding.

Now what

That doesn't mean Urban Outfitters will quickly exhaust its repurchase program. Rather, the company noted such buybacks will occur "at its discretion," allowing it to complete the purchases "subject to market conditions and at prevailing market prices."

We should also keep in mind that Urban Outfitters stock popped more than 17% in a single day last week after the company announced better-than-expected second-quarter results. At the time, however, Hayne insisted the company was "disappointed" in its performance, and looked forward to seeing the fruits of several initiatives designed to accelerate international growth, expand wholesale operations, and improve its digital presence.

If anything, today's big repurchase authorization and the addition of Ms. Cassidy to the board represent significant votes of confidence in Urban Outfitters' future. And it's no surprise to see the stock extending its recent gains in response.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.