Many shareholders argue that share repurchase and stock buyback plans are generally a waste of shareholder capital aimed solely as a short-term share price targeting mechanism. Many would prefer to see dividends. Still, share buyback plans remain a top method of ‘returning capital to shareholders’ and the share buybacks in February have come at a feverish pace.
The feverish buyback pace we are showing does not even include the many buyback plans of under $200 million. The companies leading the buyback charge with new announcements so far in February are as follows: Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS); Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX); Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS); The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TJX); Wellpoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP); Waters Corp. (NYSE: WAT); Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA); Plexus Corporation (NASDAQ: PLXS); Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG); Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC); KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC); Varian Medical System Inc. (NYSE: VAR); ConocoPhilips (NYSE: COP); 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM); Check Point Software Tecnologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP); Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG); Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL); Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI); Gamestop Corporation (NYSE: GME); General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE: GD); Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST); Medco Health Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MHS); Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS); Pfizer, inc. (NYSE: PFE); and Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE: TUP).
The tally here in just these plans comes to about $41 billion in new buyback announcements so far just in February, and that is after a whopping $34 billion identified in January. We did not break these out by date and these are most recent to farthest back in February.
Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS) increased its share repurchase authorization under its existing share repurchase program by $2.6 billion to $3.5 billion. That added 2.6 billion compares to a market cap of $15.7 billion today.
Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) declared $1 billion over 2 years against a market cap of $5.5 billion.
Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) added some $250 million to its prior buyback plan and its market cap is $2.6 billion .
The TJX Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TJX) allocated some $1.2 billion this year and that compares to a market cap of $19.5 billion.
Wellpoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) expanded its prior plan by $1.6 billion and that is against a market cap of close to $25 billion.