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S&P 500 Q3 2018 Buybacks Surpass $200 Billion Mark for the First Time Ever

- Q3 share repurchases increase 57.7% year over year to a record $203.8 billion

- This is the third consecutive quarterly record, up 6.9% from Q2 2018

- Q1 to Q3 year-to-date expenditures are only 1% shy of the annual record set in 2007

- 12-month shareholder return up 25.2% to a record $1.17 trillion

- QUALCOMM led in buybacks, spending $21.2 billion in Q3 2018, ranking third highest in S&P 500 history


NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- S&P Dow Jones Indices ("S&P DJI") announced today that preliminary Q3 2018 S&P 500® stock buybacks, or share repurchases, surpassed the $200 billion mark for the first time to set a record $203.8 billion. This is the third consecutive record, displacing the prior quarterly record of $190.6 billion, set during Q2 2018 and a 57.7% increase from the $129.2 billion reported for Q3 2017. For the first three quarters of 2018, buybacks are up 52.6% to $583.4 billion from the prior year's $382.4 billion, and stand 1% away from the annual record, set in 2007, of $589.1 billion with a full quarter yet to report.

For the 12-month period ending September 2018, S&P 500 issues spent a record $720.4 billion on buybacks, up 39.1% from $517.7 billion for the corresponding 2017 period.

Historical data on S&P 500 buybacks are available at www.spdji.com/indices/equity/sp-500

Key Takeaways:

  • The percentage of issues with substantially reduced share counts of at least 4% year-over-year rose to 17.7%, up from the prior quarter's 15.4%. This is the highest since the 19.4% posted in Q4 2016.
  • For Q3 2018, 88 issues experienced substantially reduced share counts, up from 79 for Q2 2018 and 70 for Q3 2017.
  • Total shareholder return of buybacks and dividends for the quarter set a record of $319.5 billion, up 36.2% from the $234.6 billion reported for Q3 2017.  
  • S&P 500 dividends totaled $115.7 billion, a new record, up 3.7% from the $111.6 billion in Q2 2018.
  • Total shareholder return for the 12-month period ending September 2018 set a record at $1.166 trillion, surpassing Q2's record $1.081 trillion, and up 25.2% from $931.9 billion for the corresponding 2017 period.
  • 286 S&P 500 issues reduced their share count during Q3 2018, compared to 305 during Q2 2018 and 274 during Q3 2017.

"Companies have used their tax savings to push up discretionary buybacks and boost earnings through significantly reduced share counts," said Howard Silverblatt, Senior Index Analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Adding to the impact, Q4 average issue prices have declined 3.3% which would increase the number of shares a company can buy with the same expenditure and further increase the EPS tailwind."

"The buying, while broad, continued to be top heavy, with the top 20 issues accounting for 54.3% of all S&P 500 buybacks, a level not seen since Q1 2010, when it was at 59.8%."

Q2 2018 GICS® Sector Analysis:

Information Technology expenditures increased 15.1%, after Q2's 12.8% gain, to $82.3 billion – compared to $71.5 billion for Q2 2018 and $27.9 billion for Q3 2017. The sector represents 40.4% of the index's buybacks, up from 21.6% for Q3 2017.

Energy expenditures increased 71.1% to $7.3 billion compared to $4.3 billion for Q2 2018 and were up 216% from their $2.3 billion posted in Q3 2017, but remained at 61.2% of their $112.0 billion Q3 2013 expenditure 5-years ago.

Consumer sectors split, as Consumer Discretionary buybacks decreased their expenditure 13.1% to $19.7 billion, down from $22.7 billion for Q2 2018. Consumer Staples increased 52.4% to $10.0 billion, up from $6.6 billion for Q2 2018.

Issues:

The five issues with the highest total buybacks for Q2 2018 are:

  • QUALCOMM (QCOM) led in buybacks, spending $21.2 billion in Q3 2018, ranking third on the top 20 S&P 500 historical list, up from $1.1 billion spent for Q2 2018
  • Apple (AAPL) reported $19.4 billion in Q3 2018, down from $21.9 billion spent for Q2 2018, as the quarter ranked fifth highest historically; Apple holds seven of the top eight positions for buybacks historically, spending $224.2 billion over the past five-years.
  • Oracle (ORCL): $10.3 billion for Q3 2018, up from $5.0 billion for Q2 2018 and $0.8 billion for Q3 2017.  
  • Wells Fargo (WFC): $7.4 billion for Q3 2018, up from $2.9 billion for Q2 2018 and up from $2.6 billion for Q3 2017.
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO): $5.4 billion for Q3 2018, down from $6.1 billion for Q2 2018 and $2.0 billion for Q3 2017.

Total Shareholder Return:

Silverblatt determined that total shareholder return, through regular cash dividends and buybacks, increased 5.7% to $319.5 billion, up from $302.2 billion for Q2 2018 and up 26.2% from the $234.6 billion for Q3 2017.

For the 12-month period ending September 2018, shareholder return totaled $1.166 trillion, up 25.2% from $931.9 billion for the 12-month period ending September 2017.

S&P 500 dividends posted a new record payment for Q3 2018, at $115.7 billion, and was up 9.7% from its $105.4 billion Q3 2017 payment. Dividend payments totaled a record $446.0 billion for the 12-month period ending September 2018, up 7.7% from $414.1 billion for the 12-month period ending September 2017.

"Shareholder return for the first three quarters of 2018 has increased significantly, with Q4 appearing to continue the trend, as companies give some of their tax savings back to shareholders directly through dividends, and indirectly through stock repurchases, as both buybacks and dividends are set to post new annual records," said Silverblatt.

"Buybacks continue to be a high corporate priority, and favorite, as they support stock price via more purchases and increase EPS through lower share counts.

"One strong takeaway is the trend in dividends where more issues continue to increase with greater average size increases. Dividends, unlike buybacks, are a pure cash-flow item, so when they are increased, companies are usually very confident of their future earnings flow," said Silverblatt.

For more information about S&P Dow Jones Indices, please visit www.spdji.com.


S&P Dow Jones Indices









S&P 500, $ U.S. BILLIONS


(preliminary in bold)







PERIOD

MARKET

OPERATING

AS REPORTED





DIVIDEND &

DIVIDENDS


VALUE

EARNINGS

EARNINGS

DIVIDENDS

BUYBACKS

DIVIDEND 

BUYBACK 

BUYBACK 

& BUYBACKS


$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

$ BILLIONS

YIELD

YIELD

YIELD

$ BILLION

12 Months Sep 2018

$24,579.28

$1,276.68

$1,106.65

$445.96

$720.40

1.81%

2.93%

4.75%

$1,166.36

12 Months Sep 2017

$21,578.98

$1,017.18

$918.66

$414.13

$517.72

1.92%

2.40%

4.32%

$931.85











2017

$22,821.24

$1,066.00

$940.86

$419.77

$519.40

1.84%

2.28%

4.12%

$939.17

2016

$19,267.93

$919.85

$818.55

$397.21

$536.38

2.06%

2.78%

4.85%

$933.60

2015

$17,899.56

$885.38

$762.74

$382.32

$572.16

2.14%

3.20%

5.33%

$954.47











9/30/2018 Prelim.

$24,579

$348.95

$306.70

$115.72

$203.76

1.81%

2.93%

4.75%

$319.47

6/30/2018

$23,036

$327.53

$288.55

$111.60

$190.62

1.89%

2.80%

4.69%

$302.22

3/29/2018

$22,496

$311.26

$281.28

$109.18

$189.05

1.90%

2.56%

4.46%

$298.23

12/29/2017

$22,821

$288.93

$230.12

$109.46

$136.97

1.84%

2.28%

4.12%

$246.43

9/29/2017

$21,579

$268.35

$243.68

$105.45

$129.17

1.92%

2.40%

4.32%

$234.61

6/30/2017

$20,762

$261.39

$231.40

$104.01

$120.11

1.96%

2.41%

4.37%

$224.12

3/31/2017

$20,276

$247.32

$235.65

$100.86

$133.15

1.98%

2.51%

4.49%

$234.01

12/31/2016

$19,268

$240.11

$207.93

$103.82

$135.29

2.06%

2.78%

4.85%

$239.11

9/30/2016

$18,742

$247.98

$219.46

$98.43

$112.20

2.10%

2.92%

5.01%

$210.63

6/30/2016

$18,193

$222.77

$201.79

$98.30

$127.50

2.14%

3.22%

5.36%

$225.81

3/31/2016

$17,958

$208.99

$189.37

$96.67

$161.39

2.15%

3.28%

5.43%

$258.05

12/31/2015

$17,900

$201.95

$163.76

$99.39

$145.88

2.14%

3.20%

5.33%

$245.27

9/30/2015

$16,917

$224.14

$204.58

$95.07

$150.58

2.22%

3.30%

5.52%

$245.66

6/30/2015

$18,219

$230.84

$201.35

$94.45

$131.56

2.03%

3.04%

5.07%

$226.01

3/31/2015

$18,303

$228.45

$193.05

$93.41

$144.13

1.98%

2.94%

4.92%

$237.54

12/30/2014

$18,245

$237.14

$202.31

$92.80

$132.63

1.92%

3.03%

4.95%

$225.43

9/30/2014

$17,519

$262.92

$244.00

$89.02

$145.19

1.96%

3.14%

5.10%

$234.22

6/30/2014

$17,404

$260.50

$240.96

$86.65

$116.17

1.91%

3.06%

4.98%

$202.82

3/31/2014

$16,700

$243.67

$221.82

$81.96

$159.28

1.93%

3.20%

5.14%

$241.24

12/31/2013

$16,495

$252.10

$236.31

$84.98

$129.41

1.89%

2.88%

4.77%

$214.40

9/30/2013

$14,960

$239.50

$219.13

$79.26

$128.16

2.05%

2.98%

5.03%

$207.42

6/30/2013

$14,310

$234.84

$221.56

$76.67

$118.05

2.07%

2.94%

5.02%

$194.72

3/31/2013

$13,979

$229.57

$215.76

$70.86

$99.97

2.06%

2.97%

5.02%

$170.82


 

 

S&P Dow Jones Indices







S&P 500 SECTOR BUYBACKS







SECTOR $ MILLIONS

Q3,'18

Q2,'18

Q3,'17

12MoSep','18

12MoSep','17

5-YEARS








Consumer Discretionary

$19,688

$22,656

$24,242

$81,798

$83,398

$425,986

Consumer Staples

$10,025

$6,580

$15,578

$34,351

$51,957

$216,679

Energy

$7,330

$4,285

$2,320

$26,932

$8,513

$108,642

Financials

$40,643

$29,968

$34,252

$138,316

$117,336

$519,274

Healthcare

$14,482

$27,241

$9,523

$93,170

$78,066

$374,840

Industrials

$15,159

$23,426

$13,087

$66,775

$56,771

$348,001

Information Technology

$82,293

$71,511

$27,926

$253,044

$111,762

$795,091

Materials

$3,014

$3,237

$1,412

$10,601

$6,287

$70,385

Real Estate

$520

$884

$806

$3,602

$2,833

$6,891

Communication Services

$10,092

$419

$3

$10,690

$545

$22,412

Utilities

$509

$413

$22

$1,119

$250

$5,850

TOTAL

$203,756

$190,621

$129,170

$720,397

$517,720

$2,894,052

 

 

 

S&P Dow Jones Indices








S&P 500 20 LARGEST Q3 2018 BUYBACKS, $ MILLIONS 






Company  

Ticker

Sector

Q3,'18

12MO Sep,'18

12MO Sep,'17

5-Year

10-Year




Buybacks

Buybacks

Buybacks

Buybacks

Buybacks




$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

$ Million

QUALCOMM 

QCOM

Information Technology

$21,162

$22,860

$1,610

$44,188

$51,466

Apple

AAPL

Information Technology

$19,364

$75,265

$34,774

$224,241

$250,335

Oracle

ORCL

Information Technology

$10,346

$21,366

$2,505

$51,518

$76,987

Wells Fargo 

WFC

Financials

$7,393

$16,518

$9,481

$52,056

$63,140

Cisco Systems

CSCO

Information Technology

$5,394

$21,616

$4,908

$44,899

$72,315

Citigroup

C

Financials

$5,166

$15,800

$13,599

$42,718

$45,553

Facebook

FB

Communication Services

$5,161

$13,886

$3,378

$17,526

$21,095

Bank of America 

BAC

Financials

$5,040

$19,732

$9,275

$38,189

$40,058

JPMorgan Chase

JPM

Financials

$4,416

$18,863

$12,853

$49,222

$67,227

Microsoft

MSFT

Information Technology

$3,744

$11,895

$9,996

$61,793

$100,054

Starbucks 

SBUX

Consumer Discretionary

$3,074

$7,196

$2,125

$13,771

$15,944

Walgreens Boots Alliance

WBA

Consumer Staples

$2,703

$5,228

$5,220

$13,531

$19,400

Intel 

INTC

Information Technology

$2,684

$8,956

$4,134

$30,686

$55,533

Boeing 

BA

Industrials

$2,461

$10,412

$8,128

$39,075

$40,400

Home Depot

HD

Consumer Discretionary

$2,397

$7,451

$8,412

$36,498

$53,104

Walmart 

WMT

Consumer Staples

$2,317

$5,801

$8,700

$26,759

$61,643

Booking Holdings

BKNG

Consumer Discretionary

$2,205

$4,815

$1,380

$10,790

$12,240

Alphabet 

GOOG

Communication Services

$2,200

$8,526

$2,745

$16,744

$17,662

Lam Research 

LRCX

Information Technology

$1,736

$4,234

$965

$6,073

$8,423

Amgen

AMGN

Health Care

$1,729

$16,650

$3,614

$24,652

$46,126

Top 20   



$110,692

$317,070

$147,803

$844,928

$1,118,705

S&P 500



$203,756

$720,397

$517,720

$2,894,053

$4,528,798

Top 20 % of S&P 500



54.33%

44.01%

28.55%

29.20%

24.70%

   Gross values are not adjusted for float







 

 

S&P Dow Jones Indices



S&P 500 20 Largest Quarterly Buybacks, $ Millions, as of Q3 2018 with 2 added


$ MILLIONS

QUARTER

COMPANY

SECTOR


$22,756

Q1 2018

Apple

Information Technology

1

$21,860

Q2 2018

Apple

Information Technology

2

$21,162

Q3 2018

QUALCOMM

Information Technology

3

$20,783

Q2 2018

Apple

Information Technology

4

$19,364

Q3 2018

Apple

Information Technology

5

$17,971

Q1 2014

Apple

Information Technology

6

$17,000

Q3 2014

Apple

Information Technology

7

$16,000

Q2 2013

Apple

Information Technology

8

$15,707

Q2 2007

International Business Machines 

Information Technology

9

$13,253

Q3 2015

Apple

Information Technology

10

$12,852

Q2 2012

Johnson & Johnson 

Healthcare

11

$12,318

Q4 2016

Allergan plc (AGN)

Healthcare

12

$12,183

Q3 2012

Johnson & Johnson 

Healthcare

13

$10,851

Q4 2016

Apple

Information Technology

14

$10,723

Q3 2007

Home Depot

Consumer Discretionary

15

$10,697

Q1 2018

Amgen 

Healthcare

16

-$10,346

Q3 2018

Oracle

Information Technology

17

$10,166

Q2 2016

Apple

Information Technology

18

$10,095

Q4 2017

Apple

Information Technology

19

$10,000

Q2 2015

Apple

Information Technology

20

$275,395


TOP 20




 

S&P Dow Jones Indices





S&P 500 Q3 2018 Buyback Report









SECTOR

DIVIDEND

BUYBACK 

COMBINED



YIELD

YIELD

YIELD


Consumer Discretionary

1.48%

3.20%

4.68%


Consumer Staples

3.45%

2.15%

5.60%


Energy

3.42%

2.13%

5.54%


Financials

2.38%

4.71%

7.09%


HealthCare

1.73%

2.69%

4.42%


Industrials

2.16%

3.26%

5.43%


Information Technology

1.79%

5.43%

7.23%


Materials

2.40%

1.98%

4.39%


Real Estate

3.46%

0.54%

3.99%


Telecommunication Services

1.88%

2.26%

4.15%


Utilities

3.33%

0.10%

3.43%


S&P 500

2.21%

3.34%

5.56%


   Uses full values (unadjusted for float)




   Dividends based on indicated; buybacks based on the last 12-months ending Q3'18


 

Share Count Reduction (SCR)

SCR 

SCR

(Y/Y diluted shares used for EPS)

>=4%

<=-4%

Q3 2018

6.43%

17.67%

Q2 2018

6.21%

15.43%

Q1 2018

7.01%

13.63%

Q4 2017

6.83%

15.06%

Q3 2017

8.62%

14.23%

Q2 2017

10.00%

14.00%

Q1 2017

12.00%

14.80%

Q4 2016

10.48%

19.35%

Q3 2016

9.94%

23.73%

Q2 2016

10.48%

26.61%

Q1 2016

10.06%

28.17%

Q4 2015

9.48%

25.81%

Q3 2015

9.64%

22.69%

Q2 2015

9.04%

21.08%

Q1 2015

7.62%

21.04%

Q4 2014

6.04%

21.33%


 

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