The second quarter of 2009 is the first quarter buybacks plus dividends did not exceed operating earnings since the first quarter of 2007. Even taking into account the fact that buybacks in the 2nd quarter declined $6.58 billion and dividends declined $4.1 billion, operating earnings still exceeded the buybacks plus dividends total for S&P 500 companies. On a sequential basis, the rate of decline in dividends is slowing maybe foretelling dividend growth in the second half of the year.
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The top five companies in terms of buybacks are:
- Exxon Mobil (XOM) at $5.246 billion
- Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) at $1.906 billion
- Intern'l Business Machines (IBM) at $1.671 billion
- Philip Morris (PM) at $1,474 billion
- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) at $.999 billion
In total these top five companies had buybacks totaling $11.296 billion or 46.7% of the total buybacks for the quarter.
S&P 500 Stock Buybacks Hit Record Low (PDF)
Standard & Poor's
By: Howard Silverblatt & David R. Guarino
September 15, 2009
Disclosure: Long interest in XOM, WMT, IBM, PM