Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our outstanding shares of common stock, par value $.01 per share, are listed on the New York and Chicago Stock Exchanges. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange Composite Transactions Tape.
As of February 21, 2012, there were approximately 18,378 holders of record of our common stock, including brokers and other nominees.
The declaration of dividends on our common stock is at the discretion of our Board of Directors. The Board has not adopted a dividend policy as such; subject to legal and contractual restrictions, its decisions regarding dividends are based on all considerations that in its business judgment are relevant at the time. These considerations may include past and projected earnings, cash flows, economic, business and securities market conditions and anticipated developments concerning our business and operations..
We are highly leveraged and restricted with respect to the payment of dividends under the terms of our financing arrangements. On January 10, 2001, we announced that our Board of Directors eliminated the regular quarterly dividend on the Company’s common stock. The Board took this action in response to then-current industry conditions, primarily greater than anticipated production volume reductions by OEMs in North America and continued softness in the global aftermarket. We have not paid dividends on our common stock since the fourth quarter of 2000. There are no current plans to reinstate a dividend on our common stock. For additional information concerning our payment of dividends, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in Item 7.
See “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters” included in Item 12 for information regarding securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans.
Purchase of equity securities by the issuer and affiliated purchasers
The following table provides information relating to our purchase of shares of our common stock in fourth quarter of 2011. All these purchases reflect shares withheld upon vesting of restricted stock for minimum tax withholding obligations. We intend to continue to satisfy statutory minimum tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of outstanding restricted stock through the withholding of shares.
In January 2012, our Board of Directors approved a share repurchase program, authorizing our company to repurchase up to 600,000 shares of the Company’s outstanding common stock over a 12 month period. Our share repurchase program is intended to offset dilution from shares of restricted stock and stock options issued in 2012 to employees.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
The following graph shows a five year comparison of the cumulative total stockholder return on Tenneco’s common stock as compared to the cumulative total return of two other indexes: a custom composite index (“Peer Group”) and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Price Index. The companies included in the Peer Group are: ArvinMeritor Inc., American Axle & Manufacturing Co., Borg Warner Inc., Cummins Inc., Johnson Controls Inc., Lear Corp., Magna International Inc. and TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. These comparisons assume an initial investment of $100 and the reinvestment of dividends.
COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
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The graph and other information furnished in the section titled “Share Performance” under this Part II, Item 5 of this Form 10-K shall not be deemed to be “soliciting” material or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission or subject to Regulation 14A or 14C, or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange