Apple is no stranger to stock buybacks so its no surprise that the trend continued in the 2014 fiscal year. And how much stock did Apple buy back this year? According to a new report for FactSet, Apple spent over $56 billion buying back stock this year. That’s $36.8 billon more than IBM who took the second for most spent on buybacks with $19.2 billion.
Stock buybacks have been good for Apple. So good that this year Apple also earned itself first and second place for the top two buybacks quarters since FaceSet started tracking the S&P 500 in 2005. First place goes for the $18.6 billion bought back in the first quarter, almost as much as IBM bought all year, while second place comes from the fourth quarter’s $17 billion buyback. In March of this year the company spent more money buying back stock than Google generated in revenue.
Apple’s buyback program started in 2012, and has grown every year since. This past April CEO Tim Cook had dinner with activist investor Carl Icahn to discuss the “magnitude” of the company’s buyback plans. If this year’s numbers are any indication Icahn made a convincing case.