It is projected that dividends and stock buyback activity will increase in the second quarter of 2010 versus 2Q 2009. According to Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at Standard & Poor's:
[expectations are that] second quarter 2010 dividend payments will be higher than second quarter 2009, but still 17% off 2Q 2008. A surge in increases is expected late in the third quarter if companies feel secure in their prospects to commit to future payments. 2010 payments are estimated to be up 5.6% to US$206B. This compares to payments of US$196B in 2009, US$248B in 2008, US$247B in 2007, and US$ 225B in 2006.
With respect to buybacks, Howard Silverblatt notes:
[buybacks are estimated to show] a 37% increase in fourth quarter 2009 over the third quarter 2009, which is 1% less than the fourth quarter of 2008 and 66% less than 4Q 2007. Looking at issues, MSFT (US$ 3.87B versus US$ 1.54B for Q3 2009), KO (US$ 1.51B versus minor) and PG (US$ 1.46B versus US$ 0.01B) returned, with HPQ increasing (US$ 2.7B versus US$ 2.1B), as CSCO (US$ 1.37B versus US$ 1.87B) and DTV (US$ 0.08B versus US$ 0.94B) reduced.
Overall, dollar purchases are ahead by over 39%, but are up 30% void of top issues. Lots of buyback announcements have occurred, but they come down to authorizations and a willingness to get back in the market – actual buys will depend on market conditions. Given that companies are still covering options to prevent dilution...
Source: Standard & Poor's