Corporate Stock Buybacks Driving Today's Action?

May 23, 2013 2:58 PM EDT
There's some chatter going around that trading desks are busy with corporate buybacks today after this morning's 127 point sell-off in the Dow and subsequent rebound. CNBC said word is coming from Goldman Sachs on the buybacks.

Stocks are currently at their highs of the session with the Dow up 27.50.

Companies with recently announced buyback news include:

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL): the Board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from the $10 billion level announced last year. This is the largest single share repurchase authorization in history and is expected to be executed by the end of calendar 2015. Apple also expects to utilize about $1 billion annually to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.

LyondellBasell Industries(NYSE: LYB): the Supervisory Board has approved a share repurchase program of up to 10 percent of the company's shares over the next 12 months. The repurchases will be executed from time to time through open market or privately negotiated transactions.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK): entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement (ASR) with Goldman, Sachs & Co. to repurchase $5 billion of Merck’s common stock. Proceeds from the company’s recently concluded debt offering were used to execute the ASR, which is part of Merck’s previously announced $15 billion share repurchase program.

NetApp, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP): increasing its current stock repurchase program, of which $1.4 billion remains outstanding, by an additional $1.6 billion. The Company plans to complete the aggregate $3 billion program over the next 3 years. NetApp intends $2 billion of repurchases to be completed within the next 12 months, of which $1 billion is planned to be completed during the next 4 months. Under its stock repurchase program, NetApp can purchase shares of its outstanding common stock through open market and privately negotiated transactions at prices deemed appropriate by management.

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC): authorized an additional $4 billion for the repurchase of the company's common stock. With today's authorization, the company's outstanding share repurchase authorizations total approximately $5 billion. Northrop Grumman currently plans to repurchase shares with the goal of retiring approximately 25 percent of its shares outstanding by the end of 2015, market conditions permitting

Macy's (NYSE: M): increased the company’s share repurchase authorization by $1.5 billion. This brings the remaining authorization outstanding, as of the end of the first quarter on May 4, 2013, after giving effect to this increase, to approximately $2.6 billion, which the company can use to purchase common shares from time to time in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise at any time and from time to time without prior notice.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL): authorized a $500 million share repurchase program, to be completed no later than June 30, 2016

IBM (NYSE: IBM): authorized $5 billion in additional funds for use in the company’s stock repurchase program. IBM will repurchase shares on the open market or in private transactions from time to time, depending on market conditions. This amount is in addition to approximately $6.2 billion remaining at the end of March from a prior authorization.

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