In the most recent trading days, we have seen more companies turn to new or expanded share buyback plans. If the dividend tax rates rise too much, corporations may ditch the endless dividend hikes in favor of more share buybacks to garner higher earnings per share and to buy up the excess float. These are some of the key buybacks we have tracked in the past few trading days.
BP PLC (NYSE: BP) is reportedly allocating the equivalent of almost $6 billion to its buyback plan due to cash on hand and due to weakness persisting since the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2012. Its market cap is about $127 billion.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) managed to climb during a weak market last week as big video games are back. The video game retailer also went ahead and set a new $500 million share buyback plan.
Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) beat earnings last week and it also set a $250 million share buyback plan. That is pretty small against a $13+ billion market cap.
Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) has seen shares hit hard over drink safety concerns. Last week’s $250 million share buyback plan compares to a market cap of more than $7.7 billion.
NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) beat earnings last week and announced that it would expand its share buyback plan by another $1.5 billion.
O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: ORLY) boosted its share buyback plan by some $500 million last week. This compares to a market cap of $10.3 billion.
Oshkosh Corp. (NYSE: OSK) allocated $300 million that can be used to buy back its common stock over the next 12 to 18 months. Oshkosh has a market cap of about $2.5 billion.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) recently held its analyst day, and it announced that it would boost its share buybacks by 50% in 2013. That is now $6 billion based on the hike, and the company said it could increase that if its cash flow increases.
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) added another $1.2 billion to its share repurchase plan, or about 25 million shares. Starbucks has a market cap of $36.5 billion.
Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) may have had its CEO meet with the Obama administration last week, but the company also increased its share buyback plan by $1 billion as well. Xerox has a market cap of $7.9 billion.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) just announced a new $1.5 billion securities repurchase program. This is not just for common shares, as the company included senior notes and other debt in the buyback. Its market cap is $16.7 billion.
Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) approved a new $1 billion share buyback, versus a market cap of about $32.5 billion.
JON C. OGG