In a cooling market for share buybacks, $10 billion commitments from both carmaker General Motors and aerospace-and-defense giant RTX stand out for their irreversibility as well as their headline value.
RTX and GM have both entered into blockbuster accelerated share repurchase agreements with banks in recent weeks—an aggressive form of buyback that requires sending all the money out of the door at once.
Thanks to these transactions, ASRs are on track for their second-best quarter since the start of the pandemic, according to data provider VerityData.
Big companies are typically more focused on return of capital than return on capital, says Ali Ragih, a senior analyst at Verity. They cut buybacks after the pandemic stock-market crash of 2020, for example, only to ramp them up as shares got more expensive.