EPFR says US stock buyback plans picking up in earnings season

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stock buybacks are gaining momentum, surpassing the previous two quarters and exceeding the 12-period average during this earnings season, reports EPFR.

Companies have been unveiling daily buybacks averaging $6.9 billion over the first three weeks of the fourth-quarter reporting season, notes EPFR Liquidity Offerings, which monitors buyback announcements from U.S.-listed companies.

This figure marks the highest at this point in an earnings season since the $8.2 billion daily average during the first quarter of 2023 and is also above the $6.5 billion daily average of the past 12 periods.

EPFR notes that the volume of buyback announcements is displaying “signs of life.”

Goldman Sachs and other strategists predict a rebound in buybacks this year after a downturn in 2023, potentially supporting the stock market in 2024.

Last week, Meta Platforms announced a $50 billion increase in its stock repurchase authorization, along with the initiation of a quarterly dividend. Other recent buyback announcements include $1 billion repurchase plans from Altria Group, DuPont, and Corteva.

As of Friday, EPFR reports that twelve companies have made buyback announcements of at least $1 billion in the current earnings season.

Additionally, Bank of America corporate clients have maintained buybacks above seasonal levels for 12 consecutive weeks, according to the firm’s analysts.

On a global scale, several high-profile European companies, including UBS and BP, have also disclosed buyback plans on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Chris Reese)