Wednesday, October 9, 2019
U.S. firms with Sales in China through 2018.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Tracking  Pension Data in Calcbench

Friday, October 4, 2019
In Depth: Leasing Costs in Retail Sector

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Alibaba and Cloud Computing

Monday, September 16, 2019
Introducing Critical Audit Matters

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Our Fireside Chat on Goodwill Assets

Friday, September 6, 2019
Pulling Forward Share Buybacks

Saturday, August 31, 2019
A Quick Catch-Up on VMWare

Friday, August 23, 2019
By the Numbers: Restructuring Costs Over Time

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
WeWork Liabilities, Part II

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
WeWork’s Liabilities in Perspective

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Comparing LinkedIn, Twitter Revenue

Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Leasing’s Effect on Retail Balance Sheets

Thursday, August 1, 2019
Using Calcbench to Find China Exposure

Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Leasing Details: The Comcast Example

Monday, July 29, 2019
Easy Fundamental Equity Analysis in Python

Monday, July 22, 2019
Calcbench Data and Tax Reform Insight

Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Downshifting in the Trucking World

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
New Report: Adoption of New Lease Accounting Standard

Friday, July 5, 2019
More Consequences of Lease Accounting

Archive  |  Search:
Apple, the Share Repurchase King
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

You may have seen Apple’s latest earnings release this week, confirming two ideas we have long suspected here.

First, Apple continues to have more free cash than us. Second, it will spend those haystacks of cash to buy back even more Apple stock.

The numbers in the earnings release were good: quarterly revenue of $61.1 billion, up 16 percent from one year ago; operating income at $15.9 billion, up 12.7 percent. Lots of rosy talk about iPhone X sales, numbers ahead of Wall Street expectations, everyone happy. We get it.

Then came this gem: Apple will also buy back up to $100 billion in shares.

Share repurchase programs are in the news lately because so many companies are announcing more of them. More than a few people say that’s a consequence of last year’s tax reform act, which sharply cut corporate tax rates. Companies have more cash than they know how to spend — don’t forget our post earlier this year about the S&P 500 creating cash like gangbusters last year — so they returning that extra money to shareholders by repurchasing shares and therefore driving up the price.

Apple just takes that trend to a whole new level.

Calcbench tries to publish annual reviews of share repurchase programs, and Apple routinely places at the top of our lists. For example, in our prior report from June 2017, we calculated that on average, Apple spent $107.3 million every day buying back stock for the prior 21 quarters.

Now, that is only an average; there were plenty of days, and even a few quarters, where Apple didn’t repurchase any stock at all. But over the long arc of the 2010s, Apple has been one of the biggest share repurchasers on Wall Street. Apple has also been a prime mover in the world of “mega-buybacks,” where a company spends at least $1 billion buying back stock within one quarter.

We visited our Company-in-Detail page to look up Apple’s repurchases for the last five years. The total is $168 billion, and the year-by-year breakdown looks like this:

All those expenditures come from an earlier repurchase program Apple’s board approved in 2012 for $200 billion. Now, as that program reaches its late stages and Apple still has mountains of cash, it has authorized this new program for another $100 billion.

Something to think about as you install that new iOS update.

FREE Calcbench Premium
Two Week Trial

Research Financial & Accounting Data Like Never Before. More features and try our Excel add-in. Sign up now to try the Premium Suite.