Stock Buybacks Doesn’t Improve Returns Like It Used To

  • Shareholder cash return index lagged S&P 500 for 7 weeks
  •  Company buybacks fell in 2Q for the first time in two years

Everyone’s got an opinion on buybacks, from executives and politicians to Twitter users. Now, in a year when it was once thought they’d reach $1 trillion, a louder voice is being heard: the market’s.

While the efficacy and even purpose of buybacks are the subject of endless argument, if you believe they’re meant to enhance returns, lately they’re falling short. Baskets of stocks with the highest cash-return rates have been trailing the market in recent months.

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