So far this year giant US corporations are feeling good about themselves, with the numbers to show it.

Through the first ~5 months of 2024, S&P 500 companies have been repurchasing their own public shares at a fever pitch, adding a timely boost to the overall market's performance. This follows along with better-than-expected quarterly earnings across the board for many major companies.

As of May 14th, S&P 500 companies have disclosed buybacks of at least $181B of their own shares during the first quarter of 2024, a +16% increase compared to last year. In fact, corporate buybacks are currently approaching their highest levels since 2018 with financial analysts projecting buybacks to reach all-time high levels by 2025.

Just look at this chart:

Yahoo Buybacks Chart

So why are corporations repurchasing so many shares? Typically when a company buys back their own shares off the public market, its a cut-and-dry sign of one thing: they think their stock is undervalued relative to its financials. All of this repurchasing signals that Corporate America thinks their fundamentals are fine -- they're not worried about high interest rates or consumer sentiment.

The natural next question is: which companies are feeling themselves the most by way of share buybacks, and how should we think about investing in them? Here's a list of the top 15 companies with largest repurchase programs so far in 2024:

Top 15 Largest Buybacks of 2024

#1 Apple

View Company: $AAPL

Buyback Amount: $110 billion 🏆

Shares Percentage: 3.9%

Date: May 2nd 2024

Earlier this month Apple announced an earth-shattering $110B share repurchase plan, the largest-ever buyback authorization by a US company, accounting for nearly 4% of Apple's total shares outstanding.

The announcement brought some much-needed confidence back to Apple's investor base after rising concerns over weakening iPhone demand and increasing competition in China. $AAPL stock jumped more than 7% the following day, instantly adding nearly $200B in market cap and lifting Apple to $2.86T (second only to Microsoft, worth $3T).

#2 Alphabet

View Company: $GOOG, $GOOGL

Buyback Amount: $70 billion

Shares Percentage: 3.3%

Date: Apr 24th 2024

Google parent company Alphabet's board of directors authorized a $70B repurchase plan a few weeks ago. This seems to effectively be a continuation of the company's buyback pace set over the past few years (Alphabet also announced a $70B buyback plan back in April 2022).

Alphabet is a bit unique of a unique mega-cap company in that it has two major publicly traded stock class -- $GOOG (its original Class A shares with voting rights) and $GOOGL (its newer class C shares which don't have voting rights). Alphabets plans to repurchase shares over the coming months will take the price of both of these into account as the company decides how much of each to repurchase.

#3 Meta Platforms

View Company: $META

Buyback Amount: $50 billion

Shares Percentage: 5%

Date: Feb 1st 2024

Back in February, Meta Platforms authorized an expanded $50B share buyback program, along side its first-ever quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share. The dividend brings Meta into a class of peers like Apple, Microsoft and Oracle, which all have regular quarterly payouts.

The $50B repurchase plan equates to roughly 1% of Meta's total outstanding shares at a market capitalization of $1T. The buyback news came during Meta's fourth quarter earnings call, which topped estimates on the top and bottom lines, leading to a major surge of 14% in $META stock price in after-hours trading.

#4 Adobe

View Company: $ADBE

Buyback Amount: $25 billion

Shares Percentage: 10.80%

Date: Mar 14th 2024

Adobe announced a behemoth buyback plan of roughly $25B during its most-recent quarterly earnings call, coinciding with record revenues of $5.18B in Q1 2024 (marking an 11% year-over-year growth).

Much of Adobe's monster growth over recent months can be attributed to its incorporation of new generative AI features throughout its creative suite. The buyback can also be partially attributed to a surplus of $6B in cash leftover from the company's failed merger with Figma in late 2023.

#5 American International Group

View Company: $AIG

Buyback Amount: $10 billion

Shares Percentage: 19.40%

Date: May 1st 2024

American International Group (AIG) declared a significant $10 billion stock buyback on May 1, 2024, indicating the board's belief that its shares are undervalued. This buyback program allows for the repurchase of up to 19.4% of its outstanding shares through open market transactions.

This strategic decision reflects AIG's strong financial position and is aimed at enhancing shareholder value. On the day of the announcement, AIG also reported a positive earnings surprise for the first quarter of 2024, which likely contributed to the positive market reception of the buyback announcement​.

#6 HCA Healthcare

View Company: $HCA

Buyback Amount: $6 billion

Shares Percentage: 7.40%

Date: Jan 30th 2024

HCA Healthcare announced a $6 billion buyback last week, representing 7.40% of its shares, the company also provided a positive financial outlook for 2024. HCA forecasted earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations, fueled by strong demand for non-urgent procedures.

This financial optimism, coupled with a reported increase in various hospital activity metrics such as admissions and surgeries from the previous year, underscores the confidence behind the buyback. The company’s robust operational performance and favorable forecasts likely support the stock's attractiveness to investors​

#7 FedEx

View Company: $FDX

Buyback Amount: $5 billion

Shares Percentage: 7.60%

Date: Mar 21st 2024

FedEx announced a substantial buyback of $5 billion, or 7.60% of its shares, alongside a strategic update emphasizing enhancements in operational efficiency and a push toward electrification of their delivery fleet. This buyback reflects a strategic move to boost shareholder value while transitioning towards more sustainable operations, signaling a dual focus on financial health and corporate responsibility

#8 Marathon Petroleum

View Company: $MPC

Buyback Amount: $5 billion

Shares Percentage: 7.80%

Date: Apr 30th 2024

Marathon Petroleum’s announcement of a $5 billion buyback, constituting 7.80% of shares, coincided with reports of strong quarterly earnings bolstered by high refining margins. This buyback is part of a broader trend in the energy sector where companies are leveraging current economic conditions to return value to shareholders while continuing to invest in operational efficiencies and sustainable energy solutions.

#9 Marvell Technology

View Company: $MRVL

Buyback Amount: $3 billion

Shares Percentage: 4.80%

Date: Mar 7th 2024

Marvell Technology's $3 billion buyback announcement, representing 4.80% of its shares, was made in the context of ongoing expansions in its semiconductor operations aimed at supporting growth in high-demand sectors such as automotive and data center markets. This strategic buyback reflects confidence in the company's continued growth and technological advancements.

#10 MetLife

View Company: $MET

Buyback Amount: $3 billion

Shares Percentage: 6%

Date: May 5st 2024

On the same day MetLife announced its $3 billion buyback, accounting for 6.00% of its shares, the company highlighted its strong financial position and its strategy to focus on high-growth areas such as digital transformation in insurance services. This buyback is viewed as a reflection of MetLife's solid balance sheet and commitment to delivering shareholder value amidst its transformational growth initiatives.

These summaries illustrate how major U.S. companies are not only leveraging buybacks to enhance shareholder value but are also aligning these financial strategies with broader corporate goals and market opportunities.

#11 Genesis Healthcare

View Company: $GEN

Buyback Amount: $3 billion

Shares Percentage: 23.1%

Date: May 9th 2024

Genesis Healthcare's announcement of a $3 billion buyback, which is a substantial 23.10% of its shares, came on a positive note as the company reported solid earnings that exceeded expectations. The earnings report highlighted a profitable quarter with revenues and net margins showing robust growth.

This financial uplift and the buyback reflect a strong commitment to enhancing shareholder value and confidence in the company's operational stability and growth prospects.

#12 TJX Companies

View Company: $TJX

Buyback Amount: $2.5 billion

Shares Percentage: 2.2%

Date: Feb 28th 2024

TJX Companies announced a $2.5 billion buyback plan, signaling ongoing confidence in the company's financial health and its commitment to returning value to shareholders. This announcement aligns with their continuous effort to optimize shareholder returns through strategic financial management.

#13 PPG Industries

View Company: $PPG

Buyback Amount: $2.5 billion

Shares Percentage: 8.1%

Date: Apr 18th 2024

On the same day as announcing their buyback, PPG Industries also highlighted ongoing initiatives to enhance operational efficiency and innovation in sustainable products. The $2.5 billion buyback, representing 8.10% of its shares, underscores the company's strong financial positioning and its proactive approach to capital management.

#14 Ross Stores

View Company: $ROST

Buyback Amount: $2.1 billion

Shares Percentage: 4.3%

Date: Mar 5th 2024

Ross Stores' buyback announcement of $2.1 billion or 4.30% of shares reflects its strategic focus on maintaining a robust financial structure and rewarding shareholders. This decision is part of Ross Stores' broader financial strategy aimed at enhancing investor confidence and capitalizing on operational efficiencies.


View Company: $OKE

Buyback Amount: $2 billion

Shares Percentage: 4.9%

Date: Jan 17th 2024

ONEOK’s decision to buy back $2 billion worth of shares, accounting for 4.90% of its total shares, reflects the company's robust financial health and a proactive strategy to manage its capital effectively. This buyback, announced early in the year, also indicates confidence in the company's future performance and stability, aligning with its long-term strategic goals of growth and shareholder value enhancement.