Buying shares to raise EPS may look good on paper but in the last analysis it is EPS growth that drives the stock price not the EPS value. So we should be focusing on EPS growth and whatever available data support strong EPS growth over the next several years. My opinion of course.
It certainly does. Just like issuing shares would dilute it (assuming they just let the money sit - the more complicated aspect being that the worth of your shares would not really decline if they were able to re-invest the money at a higher rate of return to compensate the shareholder for the dilution but that is not always the case). If they ever get tired of buying back shares and decide to issue a dividend and they want to give $10 million away to share holders - the fewer the shares out, the more per share that dividend will be. I am all for it. It also sends the signal that management believes the shares are cheap as in undervalued.