Friday, March 22, 2019
Our New Master Class Video

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Tech Data’s Goodwill Adjustment

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
There’s Taxes, and There’s Taxes

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Adventures in Tax Cuts and Net Income

Monday, March 11, 2019
Big Moves in Goodwill, Intangible Value

Friday, March 8, 2019
CVS, Goodwill, and Enterprise Value

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Summary of Our Goodwill Research/ How-To

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
What Does ‘Other’ Mean? An Example

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Another Tale, Buried in the Footnotes

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Low Latency Calcbench

Monday, February 11, 2019
Now Streaming on Hulu: Red Ink

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Early Look at 2018 Tax Decline

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
You Revised WHAT, Netflix?

Thursday, January 31, 2019
Talking About Huawei Exposure

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Another Discrepancy in Reported Numbers

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Finding Revised Facts: Hertz Edition

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
GE Commercial Aviation Services: Bringing Numbers to Light

Monday, January 21, 2019
Differences in Earnings Releases and 10-Ks

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
The Importance of Textual Analysis

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
A Look at Climate Change Disclosures

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.