10 companies buying their own stock

Share buybacks can boost stock prices. Here are the 10 biggest so far this year.

By Money Staff May 9, 2013 4:22PM
Businessman offering money copyright Andrea Bricco/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesHaving hunkered down through the financial crisis, U.S. companies have trillions of dollars in cash reserves burning a hole in their collective pockets. Yet the slow, bumpy road to recovery has left plenty of corporate leaders hesitant to splurge on big capital investments or massive hiring.   

 

So what's a company supposed to do with all that excess cash in the meantime?

 

Some are giving it back to shareholders in the form of new dividends. But others are increasingly investing those funds in their own stock.


Through May 1, U.S. companies including General Electric (GE), Merck (MRK), PepsiCo (PEP) and UPS (UPS) had announced more than $200 billion in share buybacks.Apple (AAPL), under prolonged pressure to do something with its enormous stash, announced both a dividend and a share buyback program.

 

As MSN Money's Michael Brush reports, "These massive planned buybacks should nudge stocks and the market higher, barring scary disasters. That's because of the sheer buying demand from companies."

 

The individual shares should also get a lift, based purely on simple math: With fewer shares in circulation, each remaining share becomes more valuable. Now, that assumes the stocks aren't overpriced to begin with -- but the companies pouring billions of dollars into their own shares, at least, don't appear to believe they are.

 

Click here to see the 10 biggest buyback announcements through the end of May 1, and some thoughts on whether you should join these companies and buy their shares.

 

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