What Is a Share Repurchase?

What Is a Share Repurchase?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

A share repurchase, also known as a stock buyback or share buyback, is when a company purchases its own outstanding shares. The company does this by buying stocks from the marketplace, which reduces the number of outstanding shares. This move increases the percentage of shares a company has left outstanding. Share repurchase is a common way to return money to shareholders. Companies with excess cash often take this option because, unlike dividends, share repurchases are not taxable.

Related Questions

1. Why would a company decide to repurchase its own shares?

A company may decide to repurchase shares to show the market that it believes its shares are undervalued, which could boost the stock price. A company may also buy back shares to reduce the number of outstanding shares and increase earnings per share (EPS).

2. What impact does a share repurchase have on the company’s stock price?

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Share repurchases often lead to a rise in the stock price because they reduce the supply of shares that are out in the market. Also, they indicate the company’s belief in its own value which may boost investor confidence.

3. Does a share repurchase benefit shareholders?

Yes, a share repurchase can be beneficial to shareholders. It returns surplus cash to shareholders, while increasing each participating shareholder’s proportionate interest in the company. Plus, it may drive up the stock’s price due to market perception and increased earnings per share.

4. How does a share repurchase compare to paying dividends?

Both share repurchases and dividends return surplus cash to shareholders. However, a key difference lies in the tax implications. Dividends are usually taxable income to shareholders, whereas share repurchases are not taxable unless they result in a capital gain for the shareholder.

5. What is the overall economic impact of share repurchases?

On a macroeconomic level, share repurchases can contribute to financial stability by allowing companies with excess cash to put it to use. In the short term, it can increase the company’s stock price and overall market positivity. However, some argue that it could lead to fewer funds available for long-term investments and growth.