I can tell that the last anwser to this question was written by a young man. Those who have held a stock for more years than they have been alive, know the importance of dividends. We partially live from this income stream ... buybacks do nothing for my income. Sure fewer shares are outstanding, but that in no way assures that the share price will rise. If the price of oil falls below $80 per share, XOM share price will tank regardless of a buyback. However, a modest increase in the dividend will easily be sustained. My basis cost on XOM is slightly above the annual dividend. Stock sales result in needless tax payments. Yes dividends doooo matter!!!