After slowing down on buying back shares in Q4 when they were cheap, Apple is once again ramping up its share repurchases.
In the first three months of 2019, Apple spent a massive $24 billion buying back its own shares. The board of directors has also added a further $75 billion to Apple’s share repurchase authorization.
In total, Apple spent $71 billion on stock in 2018. That number is, frankly, mind-blowing. To put it in perspective, it’s more money than Apple brought in in revenue in any single year prior to 2011, the year Steve Jobs passed away. It’s also more than double the $32 billion Apple bought in stock in 2017. The reason for this was tax reform at the end of 2017.
Apple reined in its stock repurchase at the end of 2018. Although this is when bargains could have been had, it did this because it had badly missed its own earnings guidance. With some signs now suggesting that AAPL is in for a major stock rally, we wouldn’t be surprised if 2019 is another record-breaking year for share repurchases.
Apple’s aggressive buying back of its own shares has led to the occasional bit of confusion. Recently, a number of publications wrongly reported Apple as having recaptured its $1 trillion market cap. The reason for the confusion was Apple’s continuing share buybacks, which affects the number of outstanding share available.
At time of writing, AAPL is trading at $202.86. In total, the company has a market cap of around $933.37 billion.