IBM and buybacks

IBM announced it expects to spend $12 billion on buybacks this year. While that is one of the largest announcements, it is an authorization to buy, not a buy. That said, over the last year and a half many companies have issued statements of intent similar to IBMs, with practically all of them following through. IBM does currently hold the record for actual quarterly buybacks at $15.7B (Q2,’07), and ranks third in buybacks ($34.3B) over the past three years. The 10Ks are coming in and at this point the Q4 buyback numbers are ahead of my $139 billion estimate, which considering that the Financials have pulled back, speaks to the strength and depth of the buybacks.

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