"But those buybacks have already happened. Heck, i may be wrong."
DOW's plan was to buyback $5 billion in shares from 2015 to 2017. They bought $0.5 billion in 1Q15. The chlorine carve out that recently closed returned $1.5 billion. DOW is buying back $1 billion in 4Q15 and $2 billion in 2016. So they will return the $5 billion a year ahead of plan. Thereafter, DOW expects growing cash flow will drive more capital returned to shareholders via growing dividends and rising share repurchases.
" i believe i need to be cautious and add only in small increments"
I agree that you can take your time to add more shares. The stock has been hurt because inventory levels post-merger are higher than desired. This issue should be mostly resolved by mid-2016 which sets up 2H16 to be strong as factory utilization improves and margins rise. This along with ongoing post-merger synergies should drive the stock much higher a year from now.
"tj rogers bought 180 mil shares it isn't clear if it was personal or a company buy back"
TJ's numerous recent SEC Form 4 filings disclose his purchases whereas CY's buybacks are disclosed in the company's 10-Q's, 10-K's and press release. TJ's recent purchases signal his confidence in the future as does the boosted share repurchase program. Shareholders get a nice dividend while they wait for the Spansion merger to gain traction.
"Through the third quarter, Dow returned $1.9 billion in declared dividends and share repurchases. The Company announced the completed sale of Dow Chlorine Products on Oct. 5, 2015, resulting in an additional $1.5 billion of common share buybacks, bringing the total cash returned to shareholders to $3.5 billion year to date."
The buybacks will not stop them from investing in future growth. In fact, past heavy investments will soon pay off. There will be plenty of cash flow to both invest in the business as well as return capital to shareholders. Buybacks make sense because free cash flow is expected to grow strongly in the years ahead.
The lower the stock goes, the more aggressive DOW will be buying back their own shares. They need to buy a ton of stock to boost EPS post-spinoff. Another similar example is GE, which did a spinoff and is selling most of GE Capital. As a result, expect DOW and GE to outperform the broad market whether it rises or falls.