Stock Buybacks: 6 Quality Companies Rewarding Investors

Stock buybacks have been big in recent years, and these six firms are repurchasing impressive amounts of their own shares.

suitcase full of cash
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the primary reasons companies undergo stock buybacks is because it can have a salubrious effect on the shares that remain outstanding. Mathematically, this is true. 

A simple example will illustrate the point. If a company has 1 million shares outstanding, earns $2 per share and trades at $30 per share, it has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 15, i.e., $2 per share times 15 equals $30. But what happens if this company buys half of its shares back? Its earnings per share will become $4. If the market continues to value the company at 15 times earnings, the stock price should trade up to about $60, a big jump. 

Here, we look at some of the most aggressive buyers of their own shares. For instance, Marathon Petroleum (MPC) has bought back about 29% of its shares over the last four quarters according to FactSet. Steel Dynamics (STLD) has bought back about 11%, small by comparison, but still a big number. 

If you remain in a stock where buybacks are high, it's important to assess the overall health of the company, since a decline in earnings will ultimately take the shares down. Also important is to look at the stock buybacks relative to the cash the company is generating from operations.  

Large buybacks relative to cash flow can spell trouble if a company's fortunes change, but even absent trouble, it can also bring the buyback program to a halt. In that case, an investor is simply left with a company that must succeed on its merits and not its metrics. As a result, investors should not buy a stock because of buybacks, but fundamentally superior stocks that buy their own shares aggressively have the wind at their backs. 

Below, we take a closer look at six companies actively involved in stock buybacks.


Data is as of March 29. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent payout and dividing by the share price. 

Louis Navellier
Contributing Writer,