What Is a Buyback in the Stock Market?

What Is a Buyback in the Stock Market?

When a business purchases its remaining shares, commonly known as a share repurchase, it decreases the number of shares accessible on the open market.

Businesses buy back shares for a myriad of purposes, including to boost the value of existing shares by lowering supply or to dissuade other shareholders from seizing control.

Why Do Companies Buyback Shares?

Firms can use a buyback to invest in themselves. The fraction of shares held by investors increases when the amount of shares outstanding on the market is reduced. A corporation may believe its shares are cheap and decide to purchase them back to provide investors with a profit. A repurchase also improves the percentage of earnings assigned to a share since the corporation is confident in its existing operations. If the same price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is maintained, the stock price will rise.

The share repurchase decreases the number of shareholdings, increasing the value of each one as a fraction of the company. As a result, the stock’s earnings per share (EPS) rise as the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) falls or the stock price rises. A share repurchase shows investors that the company can pay emergencies and minimal risk of financial difficulties.

A compensation buyback is another reason for a buyback. Stock options and stock awards are frequently given to employees and management. Companies purchase back shares and distribute them to staff and management as incentives and options. Current shareholders are not diluted as a result of this.

How Does a Buyback Work?

There are two ways to carry out a buyback:

  • Shareholders may be offered a public offering, in which they have the choice to surrender, or tender, all or a portion of their shares at a premium to the current market price within a specified time frame. This premium is given to investors who offer their shares instead of keeping them.
  • Businesses may buy back shares on the free market over a longer duration, or they may have a formalized share repurchase program that purchases shares at predetermined dates or intervals.

A corporation can finance a buyback by taking on debt, using cash on hand, or using operating cash flow.

An expansion in a company’s existing share repurchase plan is known as an extended share buyback. A company’s share repurchase strategy is accelerated by an enlarged share buyback, resulting in a faster shrinking of its share float. The stock market impact of a larger share buyback is proportional to its size. The stock price is projected to climb as a result of a significant, expanded buyback.

The buyback ratio is calculated by dividing the buyback dollars spent over the previous year by the company’s market capitalization at the start of the buyback period. The buyback ratio allows for an evaluation of the repurchase effect among various firms. It’s also an excellent predictor of a company’s potential to return value to shareholders, as companies that buy back stock regularly have traditionally beaten the market.

Arguments Against Buybacks

A share repurchase can convey the appearance to investors that the company has no alternative lucrative growth options, which is problematic for growth investors looking for sales and profit improvements. Changes in the marketplace or economy do not obligate a firm to repurchase shares.

Repurchasing shares puts a company in jeopardy if the economy tanks or the company runs into financial difficulties it can’t solve. Others claim that buybacks are sometimes utilized to artificially raise stock prices in the market, which can lead to bigger CEO pay.

The Author

Oladotun Olayemi

Dotun is a financial enthusiast who specializes in first-in-class financial content, including crypto, blockchain, market, and business, to educate and inform readers.