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Q2 2021 S&P 500 Buybacks Approach Record Highs

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S&P 500 quarterly buybacks approach $200 billion and are now 11% off their all-time high of $223 billion set in Q4 2018

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Dow Jones Indices ("S&P DJI") announced today preliminary S&P 500® stock buyback, or share repurchases, data for Q2 2021.

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

Key Takeaways:

  • Q2 2021 share repurchases were $198.8 billion, increasing 11.6% from Q1 2021's $178.1 billion expenditure, and up 124.3% from Q2 2020's recent low of $88.7 billion.

  • 294 companies reported buybacks of at least $5 million for the quarter, down from 335 in Q1 2021, and up from 170 in Q2 2020; 360 issues did some buybacks for the quarter, compared to 289 in Q2 2020.

  • Buybacks remained top heavy with the top 20 issues accounting for 55.7% of Q2 2021 buybacks, up from Q1 2021's 53.3%, down from the dominating 87.2% in Q2 2020, and up from the pre-COVID historical average of 44.5%.

  • For the 12-month June 2021 period, buybacks were $609.4 billion, a 22.1% increase from $499.2 billion in the 12-month March 2021 period, and down 5.6% from $644.9 billion in the 12-month June 2020 period.

  • Buybacks are expected to continue at a higher level for 2021 as companies doing low-level buybacks (mostly for option coverage) increase their programs for share count reduction purchases. The impact of EPS is expected to grow slowly.

  • 5.4% of companies reduced share counts used for EPS by at least 4% year-over-year, down from Q1 2021's 5.8%, and down significantly from Q2 2020's 17.8% period (the recent high was in Q1 2016, at 28.2%).

  • S&P 500 Q2 2021 dividends decreased a tick by 0.4% to $123.4 billion from Q1 2021's $123.9 billion and were 3.6% greater than the $119.0 billion in Q2 2020. For the 12-month June 2021 period, dividends were $484.5 billion, down 2.2% on an aggregate basis from prior period's $495.5 billion.

  • Total shareholder return of buybacks and dividends in Q2 2021 was $322.2 billion, up 6.7% from Q1 2021's $302.0 billion and up 55.1% from Q2 2020's $207.7 billion (Q4 2018 holds the record, at $342.8 billion).

  • Total shareholder return for the 12-months June 2021 increased to $1.09 trillion from March's $0.98 trillion and decreased from the 12-month June 2020's $1.14 trillion.

"Companies remain cautious with their buyback expenditures but have generally returned to the market to negate options and are starting to reduce share count in order to boost EPS, said Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "For the quarter, 238 companies reduced their share counts from Q1 2021, up from the prior quarters 208 (90 in Q3 2020), but still far from the 322 in pre-COVID Q1 2020, as the year-over-year significant EPS boost remains historically few (3, compared to 96 in Q1 2020). Given strong earnings and cash-flow, high expenditures are expected to continue, with upward EPS impact increasing."

Remainder of 2021 Outlook:
Silverblatt added, "Companies appear willing to increase their expenditure, which is needed for the higher priced shares. Any significant or serious buyback tax consideration in Washington could bring accelerated buying near year-end as programs are being discussed this month, and would need to (legislatively) take shape in October. At this point a slight market downturn or correction could also see additional buying, as companies with strong (and expected strong) cash-flow stock up on shares. Given the current trend, 2021 should easily surpass 2019's pre-COVID mark of $729 billion (2020 fell to $520 billion) but be slightly shy (under 5%) of the 2018 record $806 billion – absent either a buying spree (which could set a record quarter or year) or a COVID inspired shutdown".

Q2 2021 GICS® Sector Analysis:

Information Technology continued to lead and dominate in buybacks. In Q2 2021, IT's share was flat at 31.6% of all S&P 500 buybacks compared to Q1 2021, and was down from Q2 2020's 41.6%, as expenditures increased (11.4%) to $62.8 billion from the prior quarter's $56.4 billion and was 70.1% higher than the Q2 2020 expenditure of $36.9 billion. For the 12-month June 2021 period, the sector spent $224.9 billion, representing 36.9% of all S&P buybacks, up from the prior 12-month period of $197.7 billion, which represented 30.7% of all buybacks.

Financial buybacks increased 18.1%, spending $41.8 billion in Q2 2021 representing 21.0% of all buybacks, up from the Q1 2021 $35.4 billion, which accounted for 19.9% of the buybacks. Financial sector buybacks were 401% higher than the Q2 2020 $8.3 billion expenditure, when the Fed limited buybacks. For the 12-month period, the group spent $102.9 billion, down from the prior period of $153.0 billion.

Communication Services increased buyback expenditures 25.2% to $27.3 billion, from the prior quarter's $21.8 billion and a tick below Q2 2020's $27.6 billion. As a percentage of all buybacks, the sector increased to 13.7% of all buybacks from the prior 12.2%. The 12-month period was $82.9 billion, up from the prior 12-month expenditure of $72.3 billion, representing 13.6% of all buybacks, up from the prior period's 11.2%.

Issues:

The five issues with the highest total buybacks for Q1 2021 are:

  • Apple (AAPL) continued to be the poster child for buybacks as it not only spent the most of any issue, but its Q2 2021 expenditure ranked second highest in S&P history. For the quarter, the company spent $25.6 billion, up 35.8% from Q1 2021's $18.8 billion and second only to its record $27.6 billion in Q4 2020. Apple holds 14 of the top 15 record quarters (QUALCOM holds #6, posted in Q3 2018, with $21.2 billion). For the 12-month period, Apple spent $89.7 billion on buybacks, up from the prior period's $76.0 billion. Over the five-year period, they have spent $334.1 billion and $467.2 billion over the ten-year period.

  • Alphabet (GOOG/L) was next: $12.8 billion for Q2 2021, up from $11.4 billion in Q1 2021; the 12-month June 2021 expenditure was $40.0 billion versus $27.1 billion for the 12-months ending June 2020.

  • Facebook (FB): $8.4 billion for Q2 2021, up from $5.0 billion in Q1 2021; for the 12-months they spent $19.2 billion versus $7.7 billion.

  • Oracle (ORCL): $8.0 billion for Q2 2021, up from $4.1 billion in Q1 2021; for the 12-months they spent $21.6 billion versus $19.9 billion.

  • Microsoft (MSFT): $7.2 billion for Q2 2021, up from $6.9 billion in Q1 2021; for the 12-month period it was $27.4 billion versus $23.0 billion.

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 in bold)






PERIOD

MARKET

OPERATING

AS REPORTED





DIVIDEND &


VALUE

EARNINGS

EARNINGS

DIVIDENDS

BUYBACKS

DIVIDEND

BUYBACK

BUYBACK


$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

YIELD

YIELD

YIELD

12 Mo Jun,21

$36,324.74

$1,476.85

$1,336.15

$484.45

$609.35

1.33%

1.68%

3.01%

12 Mo Jun,20

$25,636.61

$1,038.11

$822.32

$495.49

$644.85

1.93%

2.52%

4.45%

2020

$31,658.70

$1,019.04

$784.12

$480.40

$519.69

1.52%

1.64%

3.16%

2019

$26,759.69

$1,304.76

$1,158.22

$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%










06/30/2021 Prelim.

$36,325

$439.79

$409.02

$123.38

$198.84

1.33%

1.68%

3.01%

3/31/2021

$33,619

$401.19

$388.84

$123.91

$178.13

1.43%

1.48%

2.91%

12/31/2020

$31,659

$321.81

$265.00

$121.62

$130.59

1.53%

1.64%

3.17%

9/30/2020

$27,868

$314.06

$273.29

$115.54

$101.79

1.75%

2.05%

3.80%

6/30/2020

$25,637

$221.53

$147.44

$119.04

$88.66

1.93%

2.52%

4.45%

3/31/2020

$21,424

$161.64

$98.48

$126.98

$198.72

2.31%

3.37%

5.68%

12/31/2019

$26,760

$324.52

$294.29

$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%

S&P Dow Jones Indices










S&P 500 SECTOR BUYBACKS










SECTOR $ MILLIONS

Q2,'21

Q1,'21

Q2,'20

12MoJun,'21

12MoJun,'20

5-YEARS

10-YEARS

Q4,'18

Q2,'20









(high)

(recent low)

Consumer Discretionary

$19,193

$15,918

$1,317

$47,222

$52,395

$345,920

$736,375

$25,652

$1,317

Consumer Staples

$8,912

$9,631

$1,514

$31,494

$23,730

$176,415

$401,610

$9,588

$1,514

Energy

$1,615

$488

$60

$2,502

$13,826

$70,661

$231,764

$8,698

$60

Financials

$41,777

$35,389

$8,346

$102,868

$153,005

$663,043

$1,019,885

$45,641

$8,346

Healthcare

$17,754

$20,394

$10,706

$60,717

$67,562

$391,754

$729,644

$31,336

$10,706

Industrials

$14,894

$13,545

$1,816

$39,116

$46,951

$282,299

$584,563

$23,026

$1,816

Information Technology

$62,758

$56,360

$36,900

$224,930

$197,712

$997,899

$1,606,547

$61,298

$36,900

Materials

$4,624

$4,065

$184

$12,067

$13,252

$57,483

$125,292

$5,857

$184

Real Estate

$42

$427

$204

$1,606

$2,791

$13,732

$13,732

$1,480

$204

Communication Services

$27,268

$21,781

$27,548

$82,946

$72,264

$189,725

$226,287

$9,556

$27,548

Utilities

$7

$135

$67

$3,887

$1,365

$9,846

$17,893

$850

$67

TOTAL

$198,843

$178,133

$88,661

$609,355

$644,852

$3,198,777

$5,693,591

$222,980

$88,661











SECTOR BUYBACK MAKEUP %

Q2,'21

Q1,'21

Q2,'20

12MoJun,'21

12MoJun,'20

5-YEARS

10-YEARS

Q4,'18

Q2,'20

Consumer Discretionary

9.65%

8.94%

1.49%

7.75%

8.13%

10.81%

12.93%

11.50%

1.49%

Consumer Staples

4.48%

5.41%

1.71%

5.17%

3.68%

5.52%

7.05%

4.30%

1.71%

Energy

0.81%

0.27%

0.07%

0.41%

2.14%

2.21%

4.07%

3.90%

0.07%

Financials

21.01%

19.87%

9.41%

16.88%

23.73%

20.73%

17.91%

20.47%

9.41%

Healthcare

8.93%

11.45%

12.07%

9.96%

10.48%

12.25%

12.82%

14.05%

12.07%

Industrials

7.49%

7.60%

2.05%

6.42%

7.28%

8.83%

10.27%

10.33%

2.05%

Information Technology

31.56%

31.64%

41.62%

36.91%

30.66%

31.20%

28.22%

27.49%

41.62%

Materials

2.33%

2.28%

0.21%

1.98%

2.06%

1.80%

2.20%

2.63%

0.21%

Real Estate

0.02%

0.24%

0.23%

0.26%

0.43%

0.43%

0.24%

0.66%

0.23%

Communication Services

13.71%

12.23%

31.07%

13.61%

11.21%

5.93%

3.97%

4.29%

31.07%

Utilities

0.00%

0.08%

0.08%

0.64%

0.21%

0.31%

0.31%

0.38%

0.08%

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 Q2 2021 BUYBACKS, $ MILLIONS









Company

Ticker

Sector

Q2 2021

Q1 2021

Q2 20220

12-Months

12-Months

5-Year

10-Year

Indicated




Buybacks

Buybacks

Buybacks

Jun,'21

Jun,'20

Buybacks

Buybacks

Dividend




$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

Apple

AAPL

Information Technology

$25,595

$18,847

$17,559

$89,665

$76,040

$334,058

$467,234

$15,622

Alphabet

GOOGL

Communication Services

$12,796

$11,395

$6,852

$39,992

$27,142

$87,657

$93,218

$0

Facebook

FB

Communication Services

$8,434

$5,016

$2,122

$19,224

$7,724

$51,140

$54,965

$0

Oracle

ORCL

Information Technology

$8,045

$4,073

$5,346

$21,600

$19,905

$93,845

$139,165

$5,859

Microsoft

MSFT

Information Technology

$7,177

$6,930

$5,791

$27,385

$22,968

$92,405

$140,522

$16,871

JPMorgan Chase

JPM

Financials

$6,194

$4,806

$0

$11,000

$20,217

$81,457

$108,099

$10,898

Berkshire Hathaway

BRK.B

Financials

$5,980

$6,580

$4,998

$30,527

$9,456

$43,462

$43,529

$0

Bank of America

BAC

Financials

$4,209

$3,470

$286

$8,056

$22,022

$78,485

$88,137

$8,180

Charter Communications

CHTR

Communication Services

$3,516

$3,652

$1,155

$14,878

$8,579

$42,835

$43,543

$0

Union Pacific

UNP

Industrials

$3,138

$1,347

$0

$5,234

$4,631

$28,085

$40,529

$2,843

Lowe's Companies

LOW

Consumer Discretionary

$3,136

$3,038

$0

$10,179

$2,509

$22,828

$41,719

$2,262

Home Depot

HD

Consumer Discretionary

$3,117

$3,788

$0

$6,905

$5,137

$37,063

$67,253

$7,018

Morgan Stanley )

MS

Financials

$3,018

$2,582

$28

$5,680

$4,855

$25,606

$32,404

$6,512

Procter & Gamble

PG

Consumer Staples

$3,000

$3,001

$0

$11,009

$7,405

$34,124

$56,896

$8,520

Citigroup

C

Financials

$2,912

$1,793

$1

$4,709

$8,310

$52,829

$64,891

$4,217

Walmart

WMT

Consumer Staples

$2,391

$2,809

$0

$7,102

$2,733

$32,694

$56,646

$12,581

HCA Healthcare

HCA

Health Care

$2,287

$1,527

$0

$3,814

$952

$9,760

$17,768

$829

Visa

V

Information Technology

$2,202

$1,719

$1,072

$7,395

$8,862

$38,786

$58,130

$2,166

Chubb

CB

Financials

$1,921

$519

$10

$2,630

$1,122

$6,338

$8,950

$1,439

Mastercard

MA

Information Technology

$1,715

$1,477

$10

$6,291

$4,321

$24,986

$38,059

$1,944

Top 20



$110,783

$88,369

$45,230

$333,275

$264,890

$1,218,443

$1,661,657

$107,759

S&P 500



$198,843

$178,133

$88,661

$609,355

$644,852

$3,198,777

$5,693,591

$554,230

Top 20 % of S&P 500



55.71%

49.61%

51.01%

54.69%

41.08%

38.09%

29.18%

19.44%

Gross values are not adjusted for float









S&P Dow Jones Indices




S&P 500 Q2 2021 Buyback Report







SECTOR

DIVIDEND

BUYBACK

COMBINED


YIELD

YIELD

YIELD

Consumer Discretionary

0.63%

1.03%

1.66%

Consumer Staples

3.29%

1.44%

4.73%

Energy

4.79%

0.27%

5.06%

Financials

2.01%

2.45%

4.46%

HealthCare

1.52%

1.18%

2.69%

Industrials

1.51%

1.27%

2.77%

Information Technology

0.87%

2.10%

2.97%

Materials

1.93%

1.26%

3.19%

Real Estate

2.42%

0.14%

2.56%

Communications Services

0.95%

2.34%

3.28%

Utilities

2.99%

0.40%

3.39%

S&P 500

1.48%

1.63%

3.11%

Uses full values (unadjusted for float)



Dividends based on indicated; buybacks based on the last 12-months ending Q2,'21

Share Count Changes



(Y/Y diluted shares used for EPS)

>=4%

<=-4%

Q2 2021

0

5.4%

Q1 2021

10.40%

5.80%

Q4 2020

9.02%

6.01%

Q3 2020

8.62%

9.62%

Q2 2020

8.60%

17.80%

Q1 2020

8.00%

19.60%

Q4 2019

7.63%

20.68%

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%

ABOUT S&P DOW JONES INDICES

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