Q2 2023 Stock Buyback Data: Trend Report

Analysis from VerityData examining Q2 2023 corporate share buyback trends at U.S. companies.

Ali Ragih, CFA, Senior Research Analyst
September 27, 2023

In this article, featuring highlights of a Buyback Trends report from VerityData | InsiderScore, we examine quarterly buyback data and identify market, index, and sector trends related to corporate stock repurchases. Note: This article is an excerpt of an exclusive report for VerityData | InsiderScore customers. Data compiled September 7, 2023.

Q2 2023 Stock Buyback Data: Macro Trends

Buyback execution drops in Q2’23

Buyback volume for U.S. companies in Q2’23 totaled $191.8B, representing a -16.2% sequential decrease from the prior quarter and a -29.8% YoY drop. The decrease in volume in Q2’23 extends a multi-quarter run of decreasing volume since Q1’22 when buyback volume was at an all-time high. The latest leg lower represents a re-acceleration in declining quarterly volume and now comes with equity values recovering broadly.

There’s mixed reasoning for the drop in buyback volume, among them are valuations, economic uncertainty, and capital requirements for banks. Those in the Financial and Technology sector led the decrease in market-wide buyback volume.

Buyback participation above average in Q2’23

A total of 1,103 companies reported repurchases for Q2’23 so far, which compares to an average of 1,030 companies per quarter over the last 10 years. The breadth of buybacks reached unusually high levels in Q2’22 (even though dollar value dipped that quarter) and has since declined, with Q2’23 -1.8% below Q1’23. We note that not all companies have reported Q2’23 data yet, particularly those with offset fiscal calendars, so the number of companies buying back will settle at a slightly higher level.

New and increased buyback plans up QoQ to 306

A total of 183 companies initiated new buyback plans in Q2’23 and another 123 increased existing plans. The combined figure of 306 is above the Q1’23 count of 284 but still below average.

Source: VerityData

Q2 2023 Stock Buyback Trends By Index & Sector

Q1 ‘22Q2 ‘22Q3 ‘22Q4 ‘22Q1 ‘23QoQ ChangeYoY Change
All U.S. Companies$273.4$246.2$233.5$228.8$191.8-16.2%-29.8%
S&P 500$220.2$204.5$196.2$199.9$160.8-19.5%-27.0%
Russell 2000$18.8$11.6$10.6$11.5$10.3-11.1%-45.3%
Consumer Discretionary$43.4$36.3$32.0$30.4$28.0-7.9%-35.5%
Industrial Goods$25.7$23.9$26.6$16.3$17.25.9%-33.0%
Consumer Staples
Real Estate$4.0$2.1$1.4$0.7$0.7-5.1%-83.3%

Source: VerityData

Top 5 Corporate Stock Repurchasers for Q2 2023

The leading repurchases in Q2’23 were Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobile (XOM).

Apple (AAPL) topped all companies market-wide, as usual, with $18.0B in buybacks in Q2’23, decreasing its pace from the ~$19B it spent in the prior two quarters.

Alphabet (GOOGL) repurchased $15.0B in Q2’23, in-line with the quarterly spend since Q2’22.

Microsoft (MSFT) also matched its regular volume over the past year by spending another $4.6B in Q2’23. That volume is lower than Q2’21 – Q2’22 when volume was regularly +$6B.

Chevron (CVX) upped its buyback pace by spending $4.4B in Q2’23 for its largest quarterly spend by dollar value. This follows ~$3.7B in the prior three quarters.

Exxon Mobile (XOM) again bought back $4.4B in Q2’23, roughly matching the average in the prior three quarters.

[Watch] How to Get Compelling Investment Ideas From Stock Buyback Data

About the Stock Buyback Data

VerityData tracks all open buyback plans that are publicly disclosed by U.S.-listed companies. Quarterly buyback updates are typically included in 10-Qs and 10-Ks, and we capture buying that is part of the publicly announced plan.

Data includes accelerated share repurchases (“ASRs”) and tender offers. Buybacks for the purpose of M&A (exchange offers and tender offers specifically to acquire a company) are excluded. For companies that do not report on a normal calendar basis, we’ve done our best to estimate the most appropriate corresponding calendar period.

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Ali Ragih, CFA, Senior Research Analyst

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Ali Ragih, CFA, is a Senior Research Analyst at Verity. He’s passionate about diving into investment data, looking for outliers, and interpreting the signals that fuel better investment decisions. He’s been delivering differentiated research and analysis to asset managers for 10+ years.

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