Dividends and Buybacks are Flat… Just Like the Market

March 17, 2016

Following the recession, dividends and stock repurchases had a significant run, growing about 28% per year, reaching a new record of $241 billion in March 2014. While dividends continue to grow, buybacks have fallen in the last 18 months, leaving the combined total mostly flat. Not surprisingly, the market has also been relatively flat over the last year and a half.

Stock buybacks reduce the amount of shares outstanding for a company which causes earnings per share (EPS) to increase since the same amount of earnings over fewer shares outstanding creates a higher EPS value. EPS is a metric used in the determination of stock price, so a higher EPS value provides support for the stock price to appreciate in the near term. 

A significant source of funding for stock buybacks in recent years came from the ability to borrow at short-term rates near zero. As interest rates continue to rise, companies will be less inclined to fund buybacks in this manner. While buybacks are estimated to be higher for the first quarter of 2016, going forward they could be scaled back significantly, which would be a further drag on equity returns.

The opinions expressed herein are those of Marquette Associates, Inc. (“Marquette”), and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to purchase or sell any product. Marquette reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs.

Related Content


The “Fix” Is In!

The strength of the U.S. economy over the last several quarters has surprised many investors, as consensus expectations from the…


The Emergence of Argentinian Equities

Argentina has faced myriad economic headwinds in recent time, including hyperinflation, currency-related difficulties, and a series of defaults on its…


Is Bitcoin Fairly Valued?

Despite mixed performance to start 2024, bitcoin finished the first quarter up roughly 68%. Buoyed by a broad weakening of…


1Q 2024 Market Insights Video

This video is a recording of a live webinar held April 25 by Marquette’s research team analyzing the…


Mind the Gap

Any ride on the London Tube reminds riders to mind the gap: Beware the space between train car and platform…


Japan: This Year’s Vacation Recommendation

Foreign investment isn’t the only thing streaming into Japan. In 2023, the number of travelers to the country surpassed long-term…

More articles

Subscribe to Research Email Alerts

Research Email Alert Subscription

Research alerts keep you updated on our latest research publications. Simply enter your contact information, choose the research alerts you would like to receive and click Subscribe. Alerts will be sent as research is published.

We respect your privacy. We will never share or sell your information.

Thank You

We appreciate your interest in Marquette Associates.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact us directly and we will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.

Contact Us >