10 Companies That Love Buying Their Own Stock

Source: Thinkstock

What does a buying frenzy look like on Wall Street? Just imagine hundreds of the best-known chief executive officers repurchasing their own shares and jumping for joy when earnings per share figures top estimates.

Despite a slowing pace, share buyback programs are still popular at the world’s biggest companies. During the second quarter, share buybacks among S&P 500 members totaled $116.2 billion, according to preliminary results from the S&P Dow Jones Indices. That is down 1.6 percent from the same quarter a year earlier, but it’s still a significant haul. For the 12 months ended June 2014, S&P 500 members raised their buyback expenditures by 26.6 percent to $533 billion from the $420.9 billion spent during the corresponding 12-month period in 2013.

“By reducing their share count, more companies are adding tailwinds to their EPS,” said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “During the second quarter, 23 percent of S&P 500 issuers reduced their year-over-year share count enough to push up their earnings per share significantly versus just shy of 20 percent during Q1 and 12 percent during the second quarter of 2013.”

An impressive 295 companies reduced their share count in the second quarter. In comparison, only 223 companies did the same a year earlier. Let’s take a look at the 10 biggest buyback programs in the S&P 500, based on dollar value in Q2 and data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.

10. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

Q2 buyback total: $1.8 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $6.5 billion

9. Oracle (NYSE:ORCL)

Q2 buyback total: $2 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $9.8 billion

8. Express Scripts Holding (NASDAQ:ERSX)

Q2 buyback total: $2 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $5.9 billion

7. Merck (NYSE:MRK)

Q2 buyback total: $2.2 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $3.8 billion

6. Home Depot (NYSE:HD)

Q2 buyback total: $2.3 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $7.7 billion

5. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Q2 buyback total: $2.4 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $4 billion

4. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

Q2 buyback total: $3 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $7.5 billion

3. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)

Q2 buyback total: $3 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $13.2 billion

2. International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)

Q2 buyback total: $3.7 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $19.5 billion

1. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Q2 buyback total: $5 billion

12-month total ended June 2014: $32.9 billion

Follow Eric on Twitter @Mr_Eric_WSCS

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