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SOURCE S&P Dow Jones Indices
NEW YORK, Dec. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Dow Jones Indices announced today that preliminary results show that S&P 500® stock buybacks, or share repurchases, increased 8.6% to $128.2 billion during the third quarter of 2013, up from the $118.1 billion spent on share repurchases during the second quarter of 2013. Compared to the $103.7 billion spent in the third quarter of 2012, buybacks are up 23.6%.
For the 12 month period (ending September 2013), S&P 500 issues increased their buyback expenditures by 15.0% to $445.3 billion from the $387.3 billion posted in the prior 12 month period. The high mark was reached in 2007, when companies spent $589.1 billion over the 12 month period. The recession low point for a quarter was $24.2 billion, recorded in the second quarter of 2009.
"The third quarter was stronger than the 8.6% statistic shows," says Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The Q2 number contains the record setting $16 billion buyback from Apple. In Q3, Apple repurchased $4.9 billion in shares which was still high enough to rank as the largest expenditure for the quarter. Excluding Apple, the quarter was up a strong 20.8%."
"Companies have significantly increased their shareholders' returns through higher buybacks and regular cash dividends. These two expenditures combined, reached $207 billion in the quarter - the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2007 and almost three times the $71.8 billion level we saw in the Q2 2009 bear market," notes Silverblatt. "Of the 394 issues which reported buybacks over the past year, 331 companies paid a cash dividend, with the buyback portion growing faster than dividends."
Buyback programs have significantly increased over the last year, notes Silverblatt. "Just keeping up with the current bull market means that companies have to pay 25% more for the same number of shares they repurchased last year. However, we are starting to see excess buying, where the repurchases outnumber the issuance, and therefore reduce the share count. The lower share count leads to higher EPS, and the market likes higher EPS," adds Silverblatt.
The data also shows that 263 issues reduced and 188 increased their diluted share count in Q3, compared to 225 decreases and 242 increases in Q2. Significant changes (generally considered 1% or greater for the quarter) favored reductions, as 106 issues reduced their count by at least 1% and 28 issues increased them by at least 1%."
On a sector basis, Information Technology maintained its dominance of buybacks despite Apple purchasing one-third less shares in Q3 than it did in Q2. Information Technology accounted for 25.1% of all expenditures in Q3, down from 31.5% in the second quarter. Consumer Discretionary saw the strongest increase in expenditures from the second quarter, up 65.7% - its highest level since Q3 2007. General Motors accounted for $2.4 billion of the $9.1 billion increase. Telecommunications saw its expenditure decrease, as AT&T reduced its buybacks to $1.9 billion from the 3.3 billion spent in the second quarter.
About S&P Dow Jones Indices S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial, is the world's largest, global resource for index-based concepts, data and research. Home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average™, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC has over 115 years of experience constructing innovative and transparent solutions that fulfill the needs of investors. More assets are invested in products based upon our indices than any other provider in the world. With over 830,000 indices covering a wide range of asset classes across the globe, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC defines the way investors measure and trade the markets. To learn more about our company, please visit www.spdji.com.
Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC, a part of McGraw Hill Financial. Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC ("Dow Jones"). These trademarks have been licensed to S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, S&P and their respective affiliates (collectively "S&P Dow Jones Indices") do not sponsor, endorse, sell, or promote any investment fund or other investment vehicle that is offered by third parties and that seeks to provide an investment return based on the performance of any index. This document does not constitute an offer of services in jurisdictions where S&P Dow Jones Indices does not have the necessary licenses. S&P Dow Jones Indices receives compensation in connection with licensing its indices to third parties.