Chrysler may have fended off Kirk Kerkorian, but if it announces a new stock buyback plan, it won't be alone. With profits strong, companies have been on a buyback spree since 1992. The point is to boost the share price and please investors. At IBM, a buyback (along with soaring earnings) has helped boost the stock 28% since its January kickoff. The monster buyback of 1995 was DuPont's $8.8 billion for most of Seagram's 24% stake. Other investors benefited: DuPont's stock has surged 13%.

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