The Premature Demonization of Stock Repurchases
11 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2017 Last revised: 20 Dec 2017
Date Written: November 1, 2017
The popular press is replete with commentary seeking to damn the behavior of corporate managers in handing free cash flow back into the hands of shareholders. These criticisms are often, even regularly, without merit (at least merit that can be demonstrated), sometimes glaringly so. Aggregate share repurchase activity has not been at historical highs when measured properly, and when netted against debt issuance is almost a non-event, does not mechanically create earnings (EPS) growth, does not stifle aggregate investment activity, and has not been the primary cause for recent stock market strength. These myths should be discarded.
Keywords: Share Repurchases, Buybacks
JEL Classification: G35, G00, G10, G14, G30, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation