Led by Apple, technology companies repurchased more shares in late 2020 as blowbacks against stock buybacks eased. In early 2021, however, Investor’s Business Daily reports that financial companies led by banks are emerging as top spenders in corporate buybacks.
Apple bought back $27.64 billion of its own shares in the December quarter, its first for fiscal 2021, according to Standard & Poor’s. That’s up from $17.59 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 and $22.08 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2020… In all, Apple stock repurchases came to about $81.5 billion for calendar year 2020, about flat with the previous year.
Repurchases of Google stock climbed to $31.15 billion in 2020, up from $18.39 billion the previous year. That includes $7.9 billion in the December quarter.
For the December quarter, reported information technology stock buybacks are running about 12% over the third quarter and 8% over the fourth quarter of 2019, said Howard Silverblatt, a S&P senior index analyst… However, big banks such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Bank of America are once again committing to stock buybacks following regulatory stress tests on their balance sheets… “Q1 2021 is experiencing the return of big banks (via Federal Reserve approval), with more non-financial companies starting to venture in to buy shares to cover employee stock options,” he said.
MacDailyNews Note: At the end of April, when Apple reports Q221 earnings (January-March), the company’s board of directors will declare the cash dividend for the year (currently $0.205 per share of common stock and authorize what’s expected to be an increase to the existing program of Apple stock buybacks.