NEW YORK, March 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Dow Jones Indices ("S&P DJI") announced today that preliminary Q4 2019 S&P 500® stock buybacks, or share repurchases, were $181.6 billion – a 3.2% increase over Q3 2019's $175.9 billion, but down 18.6% from Q4 2018's $223.0 billion record.

Historical data on S&P 500 buybacks are available at www.spdji.com/indices/equity/sp-500. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Companies posted their second consecutive quarter of increased buyback expenditures after two quarters of declines from the record Q4 2018 expenditures. For the quarter, S&P 500 companies spent $181.6 billion on buybacks, up 3.2% from their Q3 2019 $175.9 billion mark, but down 18.6% from last year's record Q4 2018 expenditure of $223.0 billion.
  • For the full year 2019, companies spent $728.7 billion, down 9.6% from the record 2018 $806.4 billion ($519.4 billion in 2017), and ranking second highest in index history. The cumulative rolling four quarters of repurchases continued to impact EPS, as 20.8% of the issues reduced share counts by at least 4% year-over-year, down from Q3 2019's 22.8%, but up from the 18.7% of Q4 2018.   
  • S&P 500 Q4 2019 dividends set a quarterly record, increasing to $126.4 billion, up 5.5% from Q4 2018's $119.8 billion; for 2019, dividends set a record with $485.5 billion, up 6.4% from the prior record, set in 2018, at $456.3 billion.
  • Total shareholder return of buybacks and dividends for the quarter came in at $307.9 billion, up 3.0% from the Q3 2019 period expenditure of $299.0 billion and down 10.2% from the record $342.8 billion reported for Q4 2018.  
  • Total shareholder return for 2019 declined to $1.214 trillion from 2018's record $1.263 trillion.
  • Buybacks continued to be top heavy, with the top 20 issues accounting for 55% of the expenditures, up from last quarter's 50.4% and the largest since the 59.8% in Q1 2010. The ten-year average is 44.9%.

"After lowering expenditures in the first half of 2019 from their tax-inspired record-setting buying spree of 2018, companies increased their share repurchases in Q3 by 6.3% and in Q4 by 3.2%," said Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.  "While the levels are still shy of the 2018 record, they are significantly higher than the pre-2018 levels, and continued to surpass the hoped for $170 billion mark, which was seen as the level needed to support stocks and continue reduced share count EPS growth."

2020 Outlook:

"COVID-19 has significantly changed the 2020 landscape, as dividends are under pressure and buybacks appear to be gasping for air," said Silverblatt, who pointed out that buybacks must now compete with other corporate priorities as uncertainty over liquidity is at its highest since the 2008 financial crisis. For 2020:

  • Buybacks appear to have moved to the backburner for most issues as companies appear to have reordered their short-term priorities:
    • Controlling liquidity.
    • Maintaining business operations and retaining employees.
    • Uncertainty over the length of virus and depth of the economic impact.
  • Pre-COVID-19 estimates predicted 2020 buybacks would come close to or exceed the $806 billion record set in 2018. Today:
    • Q1,'20 buybacks are expected to be down significantly.
    • Q2,'20 is expected to be dismal, with corporate participation light.
    • For 2020, buybacks may see a complete reversal of the 2018 buyback bonanza.
  • Once the market believes we have hit bottom, buybacks may be slow to come back as companies set their catch-up priorities and may stringently control expenditures amidst:
    • Potential restrictions on buybacks through government programs.
    • Public image of buybacks when the economy is still recovering.

Q4 2019 GICS® Sector Analysis:

Information Technology buybacks reversed its prior two quarters of expenditure declines, spending $52.4 billion for the quarter, up 6.5% from the prior quarters $47.8 billion, but down 14.5% from the Q4 2018 $61.3 billion level.  On a percentage basis, the sector represented 28.9% of all buybacks, up from the prior quarters 28.0%. For the year, the group spent $224.8 billion, representing 30.9% of the buybacks, down 19.3% from the 2018 $278.5 billion expenditure, which represented 34.5% of the buybacks.

Financials remained right behind Information Technology as they increased expenditures 5.1% to $50.2 billion, up from last quarter's $47.8 billion, representing 27.6% of all buybacks, up from 27.2% in Q3 2019. For the year, the group spent $178.7 billion, representing 24.5% of all buybacks, up 19.1% from their 2018 expenditure of $150.1 billion, which represented 18.6% of the buybacks.

Health Care buybacks increased 25.2% to $20.0 billion from last quarter's 16.0 billion, as the full year declined 22.8% to $83.9 billion from $108.7 billion in 2018.

Issues:

The five issues with the highest total buybacks for Q4 2019 are:

  • Apple (AAPL) continued to lead, spending $22.1 billion in Q4 2019, ranking 3rd in S&P 500 history, as the level was up 25.2% from their Q3 2019 $17.6 billion expenditure and over double the Q4 2018 $10.1 billion. For the year, Apple has spent $81.7 billion on buybacks, up from 2018's $74.2 billion. Over the five-year period, they have spent $264.3 billion and $342.0 billion over the ten-year period.
  • Bank of America (BAC): $7.7 billion for Q4 2019, up from $7.6 billion for Q3 2019; in 2019 they spent $28.1 billion, up from $20.1 billion in 2018.
  • Oracle (ORCL): $5.0 billion for Q4 2019, down from $5.5 billion in Q3 2019; 2019 was $26.9 billion down from $29.3 billion in 2018. 
  • Wells Fargo (WFC): $7.4 billion for Q4 2019, down from their $7.5 billion Q3 2019 expenditure; 2019 was $24.8 billion, up from $21.0 billion for 2018. 
  • JP Morgan (JPM): $6.8 billion for Q4 2019, down from the $6.9 billion spent in Q3 2019; 2019 was $24.0 billion, up from $20.0 billion for 2018.

For more information about S&P Dow Jones Indices, please visit www.spdji.com.   

S&P Dow Jones Indices








S&P 500, $ U.S. BILLIONS

(preliminary and estimates in bold)





PERIOD

MARKET

OPERATING

AS REPORTED





DIVIDEND &


VALUE

EARNINGS

EARNINGS

DIVIDENDS

BUYBACKS

DIVIDEND 

BUYBACK 

BUYBACK 


$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

YIELD

YIELD

YIELD

2019

$26,759.69

$1,304.59

$1,158.72

$485.48

$728.74

1.81%

2.72%

4.54%

2018

$21,026.90

$1,281.66

$1,119.43

$456.31

$806.41

2.17%

3.84%

6.01%

2017

$22,821.24

$1,066.00

$940.86

$419.77

$519.40

1.84%

2.28%

4.12%

2016

$19,267.93

$919.85

$818.55

$397.21

$536.38

2.06%

2.78%

4.85%

2015

$17,899.56

$885.38

$762.74

$382.32

$572.16

2.14%

3.20%

5.33%










12/31/2019

$26,760

$324.35

$294.78

$126.35

$181.58

1.81%

2.72%

4.54%

9/30/2019

$24,707

$330.42

$282.12

$123.12

$175.89

1.94%

3.12%

5.06%

6/28/2019

$24,423

$333.26

$290.00

$118.68

$165.46

1.93%

3.27%

5.20%

3/29/2019

$23,619

$316.56

$291.82

$117.33

$205.81

1.97%

3.49%

5.45%

12/31/2018

$21,027

$293.82

$242.91

$119.81

$222.98

2.17%

3.84%

6.01%

9/30/2018

$24,579

$349.04

$306.70

$115.72

$203.76

1.81%

2.93%

4.75%

6/30/2018

$23,036

$327.53

$288.55

$111.60

$190.62

1.89%

2.80%

4.69%

3/29/2018

$22,496

$311.26

$281.28

$109.18

$189.05

1.90%

2.56%

4.46%

12/29/2017

$22,821

$288.93

$230.12

$109.46

$136.97

1.84%

2.28%

4.12%

9/29/2017

$21,579

$268.35

$243.68

$105.45

$129.17

1.92%

2.40%

4.32%

6/30/2017

$20,762

$261.39

$231.40

$104.01

$120.11

1.96%

2.41%

4.37%

3/31/2017

$20,276

$247.32

$235.65

$100.86

$133.15

1.98%

2.51%

4.49%

12/31/2016

$19,268

$240.11

$207.93

$103.82

$135.29

2.06%

2.78%

4.85%

9/30/2016

$18,742

$247.98

$219.46

$98.43

$112.20

2.10%

2.92%

5.01%

6/30/2016

$18,193

$222.77

$201.79

$98.30

$127.50

2.14%

3.22%

5.36%

3/31/2016

$17,958

$208.99

$189.37

$96.67

$161.39

2.15%

3.28%

5.43%

 

S&P Dow Jones Indices










S&P 500 SECTOR BUYBACKS










SECTOR $ MILLIONS

Q4,'19

Q3,'19

Q4,'18

12MoDec,'19

12MoDec,'18

5-YEARS

10-YEARS

Q4,'18

Q2,'09









(high)

(recent low)

Consumer Discretionary

$16,620

$18,372

$25,652

$68,476

$86,674

$420,287

$754,092

$25,652

$2,350

Consumer Staples

$9,429

$7,509

$9,588

$33,838

$33,449

$206,448

$440,320

$9,588

$4,013

Energy

$5,025

$4,880

$8,698

$18,750

$30,427

$82,926

$266,702

$8,698

$5,343

Financials

$50,232

$47,789

$45,641

$178,685

$150,054

$652,120

$906,749

$45,641

$1,170

Healthcare

$20,041

$16,007

$31,336

$83,864

$108,692

$415,445

$711,672

$31,336

$4,699

Industrials

$10,218

$14,181

$23,026

$60,792

$78,239

$348,870

$563,488

$23,026

$1,681

Information Technology

$52,432

$49,241

$61,298

$224,847

$278,526

$892,006

$1,410,197

$61,298

$4,757

Materials

$3,117

$5,400

$5,857

$15,709

$14,391

$59,874

$116,194

$5,857

$159

Real Estate

$573

$694

$1,480

$2,230

$3,768

$10,601

$10,601

$1,480


Communication Services

$13,687

$11,028

$9,556

$38,192

$20,237

$65,665

$96,656

$9,556

$13

Utilities

$211

$784

$850

$3,355

$1,952

$8,843

$18,082

$850

$10

TOTAL

$181,583

$175,886

$222,980

$728,738

$806,408

$3,163,084

$5,294,754

$222,980

$24,195











SECTOR BUYBACK MAKEUP %

Q4,'19

Q3,'19

Q4,'18

12MoDec,'19

12MoDec,'18

5-YEARS

10-YEARS

Q4,'18

Q2,'09

Consumer Discretionary

9.15%

10.45%

11.50%

9.40%

10.75%

13.29%

14.24%

11.50%

9.71%

Consumer Staples

5.19%

4.27%

4.30%

4.64%

4.15%

6.53%

8.32%

4.30%

16.59%

Energy

2.77%

2.77%

3.90%

2.57%

3.77%

2.62%

5.04%

3.90%

22.08%

Financials

27.66%

27.17%

20.47%

24.52%

18.61%

20.62%

17.13%

20.47%

4.84%

Healthcare

11.04%

9.10%

14.05%

11.51%

13.48%

13.13%

13.44%

14.05%

19.42%

Industrials

5.63%

8.06%

10.33%

8.34%

9.70%

11.03%

10.64%

10.33%

6.95%

Information Technology

28.88%

28.00%

27.49%

30.85%

34.54%

28.20%

26.63%

27.49%

19.66%

Materials

1.72%

3.07%

2.63%

2.16%

1.78%

1.89%

2.19%

2.63%

0.66%

Real Estate

0.32%

0.39%

0.66%

0.31%

0.47%

0.34%

0.20%

0.66%

0.00%

Telecommunication Services

7.54%

6.27%

4.29%

5.24%

2.51%

2.08%

1.83%

4.29%

0.05%

Utilities

0.12%

0.45%

0.38%

0.46%

0.24%

0.28%

0.34%

0.38%

0.04%

TOTAL

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

100.00%

 

S&P Dow Jones Indices









S&P 500 20 LARGEST Q4 2019 BUYBACKS, $ MILLIONS 







Company  

Ticker

Sector

Q4 2019

12-Months

12-Months

5-Year

10-Year

Indicated




Buybacks

Dec,'19

Dec,'18

Buybacks

Buybacks

Dividend




$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

Apple

AAPL

Information Technology

$22,085

$81,685

$74,246

$264,340

$342,031

$14,559

Bank of America

BAC

Financials

$7,748

$28,144

$20,094

$68,538

$73,433

$7,196

Wells Fargo 

WFC

Financials

$7,386

$24,835

$20,964

$73,407

$94,602

$9,481

Bristol-Myers Squibb 

BMY

Health Care

$7,000

$7,300

$320

$10,320

$14,958

$4,220

JPMorgan 

JPM

Financials

$6,751

$24,001

$19,983

$74,092

$97,156

$11,291

Alphabet 

GOOGL

Communication Services

$6,098

$18,396

$9,075

$37,790

$38,708

$0

Microsoft 

MSFT

Information Technology

$5,206

$19,504

$16,300

$77,549

$117,704

$15,563

Citigroup

C

Financials

$5,127

$17,982

$10,327

$58,741

$63,012

$4,454

Oracle 

ORCL

Information Technology

$5,036

$26,857

$29,306

$77,431

$109,871

$4,775

Intel

INTC

Information Technology

$3,523

$13,623

$10,730

$34,418

$69,168

$5,742

Procter & Gamble 

PG

Consumer Staples

$3,504

$9,504

$4,754

$25,719

$56,097

$7,432

Home Depot

HD

Consumer Discretionary

$3,056

$6,965

$9,963

$38,808

$64,416

$6,545

Visa

V

Information Technology

$2,517

$8,741

$7,914

$34,852

$48,690

$2,054

Charter Communications

CHTR

Communication Services

$2,305

$6,873

$4,399

$24,587

$25,371

$0

U.S. Bancorp 

USB

Financials

$2,293

$4,525

$2,822

$14,724

$21,576

$2,883

Goldman Sachs Group

GS

Financials

$2,166

$6,080

$4,412

$30,828

$57,343

$1,967

Biogen 

BIIB

Health Care

$2,093

$5,868

$4,353

$17,586

$22,434

$0

Berkshire Hathaway 

BRK.B

Financials

$2,043

$4,850

$1,346

$6,196

$6,263

$0

AT&T 

T

Communication Services

$2,008

$2,417

$609

$4,270

$31,667

$15,194

Facebook

FB

Communication Services

$1,923

$6,539

$16,087

$27,854

$31,679

$0

Top 20   



$99,868

$324,689

$268,004

$1,002,050

$1,386,179

$113,356

S&P 500



$181,583

$728,738

$806,408

$3,163,084

$5,294,754

$553,760

Top 20 % of S&P 500



55.00%

44.55%

33.23%

31.68%

26.18%

20.47%

   Gross values are not adjusted for float







 

S&P Dow Jones Indices




S&P 500 20 Largest Quarterly Buybacks, $ Millions, as of Q4 2019; Apple added at #3


$ MILLIONS

QUARTER

COMPANY

SECTOR


$23,811

Q1 2019

Apple

Information Technology

1

$22,908

Q1 2018

Apple

Information Technology

2

$22,085

Q4 2019

Apple

Information Technology

3

$21,860

Q2 2018

Apple

Information Technology

4

$21,162

Q2 2006

QUALCOMM

Information Technology

5

$19,364

Q3 2018

Apple

Information Technology

6

$18,154

Q2 2019

Apple

Information Technology

7

$18,036

Q1 2014

Apple

Information Technology

8

$17,635

Q3 2019

Apple

Information Technology

9

$17,319

Q3 2014

Apple

Information Technology

10

$16,413

Q2 2013

Apple

Information Technology

11

$15,707

Q3 2007

International Business Machines 

Information Technology

12

$13,420

Q3 2015

Apple

Information Technology

13

$12,852

Q4 2013

Johnson & Johnson 

Healthcare

14

$12,318

Q4 2016

Allergan plc (AGN)

Healthcare

15

$12,183

Q2 2012

Johnson & Johnson 

Healthcare

16

$11,480

Q4 2016

Apple

Information Technology

17

$11,133

Q4 2017

Apple

Information Technology

18

$10,776

Q2 2016

Apple

Information Technology

19

$10,724

Q2 2015

Apple

Information Technology

20

 

S&P Dow Jones Indices





S&P 500 Q4 2019 Buyback Report









SECTOR

DIVIDEND

BUYBACK 

COMBINED



YIELD

YIELD

YIELD


Consumer Discretionary

2.01%

3.21%

5.22%


Consumer Staples

4.03%

1.95%

5.98%


Energy

7.36%

3.07%

10.43%


Financials

3.22%

6.90%

10.11%


HealthCare

2.02%

2.50%

4.52%


Industrials

2.68%

3.26%

5.95%


Information Technology

1.53%

3.95%

5.49%


Materials

3.02%

2.97%

5.99%


Real Estate

3.60%

0.31%

3.91%


Communications Services

1.77%

1.88%

3.65%


Utilities

3.63%

0.43%

4.05%


S&P 500

2.51%

3.30%

5.81%


   Uses full values (unadjusted for float)




   Dividends based on indicated; buybacks based on the last 12-months ending Q4,'19

 

Share Count Changes



(Y/Y diluted shares used for EPS)

>=4%

<=-4%

Q4 2019

7.68%

20.81%

Q3 2019

8.62%

22.85%

Q2 2019

7.98%

24.15%

Q1 2019

8.03%

24.90%

Q4 2018

8.45%

18.71%

Q3 2018

6.43%

17.67%

Q2 2018

6.20%

15.60%

Q1 2018

7.01%

13.63%

Q4 2017

6.83%

15.06%

Q3 2017

8.62%

14.23%

Q2 2017

10.00%

14.00%

Q1 2017

12.00%

14.80%

Q4 2016

10.48%

19.35%

 

ABOUT S&P DOW JONES INDICES

S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has been innovating and developing indices across the spectrum of asset classes helping to define the way investors measure and trade the markets.

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