It is no secret that the market volatility has many investors rattled. What is very counter-intuitive is that many companies are continuing with most or all of their investor friendly plans regardless of the market. That means keeping balance sheets strong, but it also means buying back stock and paying out dividends. In fact, some companies have signaled that they just do not believe the current mayhem will turn into a new 2008 or 2009 situation.
The fresh buybacks we have featured are only the big buybacks which are large in size or large in percentages of the market capitalization of the underlying companies. The best buyback announcements in August have come from the following: Ace Ltd. (NYSE: ACE); Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM); AmerisourceBergen Corporation (NYSE: ABC); AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL); Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT); CBOE Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE); Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR); Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO); Covidien plc (NYSE: COV); Discovery Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA); Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB); Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM); Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX); Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRS); Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN); JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO); Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH); News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA); Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE: RDC); Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV); and St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ).
We also saw some large and interesting buybacks in the last week of July from the likes of Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX); Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI); Visa, Inc. (NYSE: V); and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ).
The companies are using their balance sheets to take advantage of distressed situations. Ultimately, this could even signal M&A opportunities arising. As a reminder, companies are not under any obligation to spend a single dollar to repurchase stocks. These buybacks actually look real, and many have a solid history of buying back shares. Who needs activist investors when you see these billions and billions being made available to purchase stock.
Here are the companies buying billions in their own stock.