When looking at the stock buyback figures, an investor can quickly recognize that the number of companies involved in this practice has increased. You don’t need to look at a business report to recognize that in 2021 the number of stock buybacks by companies has increased tenfold over the last decade. The reasons are simple, companies who have cash on hand realize that the best way to invest is to instigate a stock buyback program.
Nowadays, more companies are interested in stock buybacks than investing in the future. Organizations want to improve their earnings per share and their stock value at the same time while affording their shareholders with maximum returns on their investment. However, there are also critics of stock buybacks who complain that companies inflate their stock values to profit.
There is some truth to those allegations as organizations that want to improve their quarterly earnings, and EPS numbers are looking towards stock buybacks. The question investors must ask themselves is whether the company’s motives are genuine, and should they invest in a company that holds frequent stock buybacks? The answer is double-edged because, on the one hand, stock buybacks increase stock value and earnings per share.
However, on the other hand, they don’t represent the complete picture to investors. A company may only look towards a stock buyback program because it wants to paint a good picture artificially. The company may also be looking to prevent a hostile takeover, so it is trying to buy back its shares. Even small organizations are now jumping on board the bandwagon, and this has caused a familiar debate to resurface, are stock buybacks a good thing or not?
Look Beneath the Surface of Stock Buybacks
The primary concern that investors have with stock buybacks is that an increasing number of companies are shifting away from investing in their future and are only after short-term gains. That is a dangerous path to follow for any organization, as sooner or later, it will come back to haunt them. Therefore, investors must look beneath the surface of buybacks and make up their minds regarding whether stock buybacks hold value for them or not.
Stock buybacks help reduce the number of shares in the market, creating a demand for such shares. That is one way of artificially increasing a company’s stock price, even if the company isn’t in a financially strong position. That presents a challenge for investors since they don’t see the complete picture and, therefore, can’t make a judgment call on whether to invest in that company’s stock.
If you look at the current trend in the marketplace, you will find that almost every other company is involved in stock buybacks these days. The simple fact of the matter is that company’s want to reward their shareholders, and stock buybacks provide them with the best solution.