Apple’s Accumulated Stock Buybacks Surpass Valuations of Visa, JPMorgan, and Exxon Combined Since 2012, Exceeding $500 Billion

  • According to an analysis by Markets Insider, Apple’s expenditures on stock buybacks have exceeded $500 billion since 2012.
  • The cumulative repurchases made by the iPhone maker to date surpass the total value of all but eight companies within the S&P 500 index.
  • Warren Buffett has embraced Apple’s buyback initiatives, which have effectively increased his ownership stake without incurring any expense on his part.

Over the past ten years, Apple’s commitment to stock buybacks has been formidable, surpassing an impressive $500 billion, according to an analysis by Markets Insider.

During this period, Apple’s dedication to repurchasing its own stock has eclipsed even the entire market capitalization of notable giants like Visa ($489 billion), JPMorgan ($446 billion), and Exxon Mobil ($441 billion), showcasing the scale of its financial strategy. In fact, within the S&P 500 index, a mere eight companies hold a higher valuation than Apple’s cumulative expenditure on buybacks up to this point.

Remarkably, the tech giant has consistently allocated more than $50 billion annually towards purchasing its own shares since 2018. Notably, in its most recent fiscal year, Apple allocated a substantial $90 billion to buybacks, further solidifying its commitment to this financial practice. Additionally, within the nine months leading up to July 1, the company succeeded in repurchasing an impressive $56 billion worth of its own shares.

Furthermore, the board of the company behind the iPhone has freshly sanctioned an additional $90 billion for stock repurchases. This sum not only surpasses the complete valuation of Citigroup ($85 billion) but also nearly doubles the market capitalization of Hershey’s ($46 billion).

This noteworthy inclination of Apple towards buybacks was brought to attention in a recent tweet by Charlie Bilello, who serves as the chief market strategist at Creative Planning. Bilello also highlighted that the iPhone manufacturer’s buyback initiatives have substantially reduced its outstanding shares by over a third, diminishing the count from around 25 billion to under 16 billion.

Warren Buffett, a longtime champion of prudent buybacks, has been a cheerleader for Apple’s repurchases. His Berkshire Hathaway empire owns nearly 6% of Apple, and the position accounts for almost half of its roughly $350 billion stock portfolio. When Apple buys back shares, it boosts Berkshire’s ownership at no cost to the conglomerate.

“Much of what the company retained was used to repurchase Apple shares, an act we applaud,” Buffett wrote in his 2021 letter to shareholders. “Tim Cook, Apple’s brilliant CEO, quite properly regards users of Apple products as his first love, but all of his other constituencies benefit from Tim’s managerial touch as well.”