Stock Buybacks May Be Slowing, But Still At Record Levels

Stock buybacks are off their 2018 pace when corporate America spent over $800 billion in share repurchases, but they are still high based on historical figures. One estimate, based on where share buybacks have been during the first two-quarters of 2019 point to companies spending roughly $740 billion in 2019 on share repurchase. For comparison, in 2017 companies spent $519 billion, in 2016 there was $536 billion spent, and in 2015 $572 billion was spent rebuying shares.

There are several reasons share buybacks are hitting even lofty levels than in the past. One is the tax cuts that went into effect last year, another being the fact that we are now in the tenth year of a bull market. At this point in a market cycle, there is a combination of company management teams not wanting to make large capital expenditures and not having any large projects they feel are worth spending money on.

Typically, we see large expenditures taking place during the first few years of a bull market, or shortly after a recession has come to an end because this is when new opportunities present themselves to companies for many different reasons. It could be because that is when capital is cheap due to low-interest rates, weaker businesses are struggling from the recession, so the price to purchase them is low, and or there are ‘fire’ sales as the remains companies that failed during the recession are sold off piece by piece.

Regardless of the reasons why corporate America has decided this is the time to buy-back stock, the fact remains record amounts of money are being spent. The benefits of stock buybacks are highly debated, but one thing is for sure, and that’s when companies spend money on stock buybacks, their earnings per share figures usually look better, even if the business itself isn’t growing. This is because when you have fewer pieces of the pie to split, each piece of the pie gets a little bigger. So, even if we are headed towards a recession, buying companies that are purchasing large amounts of their stock will keep their earnings per share figures somewhat healthy in the short run. So, let’s take a look at a few different ETFs that focus on companies who are buying back their stock. Continue reading "Stock Buybacks May Be Slowing, But Still At Record Levels"

New Tax Laws Could Mean a Boom for Stock Buy-Back ETF’s

Matt Thalman - Contributor - ETFs

Now that the Senate has passed a tax bill and President Trump has signed off on it, investors should get ready for a few significant changes that are likely to begin happening. While the bill has been touted as a way to boost the economy and help the middle class, some economists disagree; mainly on the idea that if corporations have a lower tax bill, they will higher more workers and pay their current employee’s more money.

History has shown that when repatriated money comes back to US soil, it is largely used for share buybacks. In 2004 there was a one-time tax holiday when repatriation of foreign earnings was brought back home and taxed at a rate of 5.25%, not the usual 35%.

In 2004 fifteen companies brought back $155 billion, of the total $312 billion. Those 15 companies increased their share repurchases by 38% between 2005 and 2006. There was a clear correlation between share buybacks increasing the repatriation of overseas cash. Continue reading "New Tax Laws Could Mean a Boom for Stock Buy-Back ETF’s"