Apple was the biggest buyback spender among the S&P 500 this year, according to MarketWatch. Citing data from FactSet, the outlet reports the iPhone-maker has bought back more than $56 billion worth of shares from stockholders in 2014.
That’s a staggering amount, especially when you consider that the company that came in second place among buyback spenders in 2014, IBM, only spent $19.2 billion. Apple spent almost that much ($18.6 billion) during its first quarter this year.
“It showed that management was confident in its upcoming product launches and helped to put a floor into the company’s valuation during times of skepticism,” said analyst Brian Colello. Does the line “best product pipeline in 25 years” sound familiar?
Tim Cook began Apple’s buyback program in 2012, and it has grown in size ever since. Apple certainly has the cash to do it—$165 billion at the end of June—and between that and this summer’s 7-1 split, shares of AAPL have reached record highs.
Apple has set aside $100 billion for dividends and stock buybacks—some 60% of its total cash pile.