The Winners and Losers in a $1 Trillion Buyback Year

Corporate America may be overpaying its own shareholders.

18 May, 2019FORTUNE.COM

The Winners and Losers in a $1 Trillion Buyback Year | BEAM

American businesses have been buying back their own stock at a wallet-scorching pace. In the five years up until 2018, encouraged by solid profits and changes in the tax code, S&P 500 companies repurchased about $2.9 trillion in stock. And last year, overall U.S. buybacks topped $1 trillion in a single year for the first time ever.

Buybacks theoretically help both shareholders--by giving them cash to spend or invest elsewhere--and the companies themselves--by taking shares off the market and reducing the cost of paying dividends. But with stock valuations near historic highs, some investors are asking: Are companies paying too much for their own shares?...

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