Share Buyback

Updated on January 4, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Share Buyback?

Share buyback or share repurchase is a corporate activity wherein the firm reclaims its shares. It certainly assists in enhancing the earnings per share (EPS) and shareholder value. Regarding company dividend vs share buyback, both terms differ in meaning, recording in the journal entry, and purpose.

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Please note that the repossession procedure lessens the total outstanding market shares. Moreover, the reacquired shares could be retained for future reallocation. To clarify, the share repurchase methods include open market share buyback, direct negotiation, fixed price tender offer, and Dutch auction tender offer.

Key Takeaways

  • The share buyback meaning refers to the company’s repossession of its shares at a cost greater than the market value from current shareholders.
  • It is certainly a tax-effective method to increase shareholder value and share price by diminishing the total outstanding shares. In terms of dividend vs share buyback, both have different purposes and implications.
  • Its methods include open market share buyback, direct negotiation, fixed price tender offer, and Dutch auction tender offer.
  • The repurchasing benefits are offsetting shares produced via employee stock options, increased shareholder ownership, improved fiscal metrics, and tax benefits.

Share Buyback Explained

Share buyback can certainly be a tax-effective method for capital repayment to shareholders as no surplus tax is incurred on the reacquisition sale procedure. Furthermore, it is mainly helpful when the business strives for greater demand for presently undervalued stocks.

The shares issuedShares IssuedShares Issued refers to the number of shares distributed by a company to its shareholders, who range from the general public and insiders to institutional investors. They are recorded as owner's equity on the Company's balance sheet.read more in the marketplace are further transferred to the secondary marketSecondary MarketA secondary market is a platform where investors can easily buy or sell securities once issued by the original issuer, be it a bank, corporation, or government entity. Also referred to as an aftermarket, it allows investors to trade securities freely without interference from those who issue them.read more, wherein the public conducts transactions. Besides the share repurchase process, the Treasury Stock MethodTreasury Stock MethodTreasury Stock Method is an accounting approach assuming that the options & stock warrants are exercised at the beginning of the year (or date of issue, if later) & proceeds from the exercise of these options & warrants are used to repurchase shares in the market. read more may also be employed to lessen the total outstanding sharesOutstanding SharesOutstanding shares are the stocks available with the company's shareholders at a given point of time after excluding the shares that the entity had repurchased. It is shown as a part of the owner's equity in the liability side of the company's balance sheet.read more.

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Characteristics Of Share Repurchase

Above all, below-mentioned are the features of share repurchase,

  1. Selling shares at an excessive rate
  2. Computerized application
  3. The convenient process to avail of tax benefitsTax BenefitsTax benefits refer to the credit that a business receives on its tax liability for complying with a norm proposed by the government. The advantage is either credited back to the company after paying its regular taxation amount or deducted when paying the tax liability in the first place.read more
  4. Numerous modes of application

It can make a good impression on people by convincing them that the corporation possesses sufficient EarningsEarningsEarnings are usually defined as the net income of the company obtained after reducing the cost of sales, operating expenses, interest, and taxes from all the sales revenue for a specific time period. In the case of an individual, it comprises wages or salaries or other payments.read more to compensate the investors. Nevertheless, buyback might also generate a pessimistic outlook by spreading the idea that the establishment lacks development potential.

The company must perform fundamental analysisFundamental AnalysisFundamental Analysis (FA) refers to the process of studying any security's intrinsic value with the object of making profits while trading in it. The primary purpose of fundamental analysis is to determine whether the security or stock is undervalued or overvalued and thereby make an informed decision to buy, hold, or sell it in order to maximize the potential for gains.read more and comprehend the risk appetiteRisk AppetiteRisk appetite refers to the amount, rate, or percentage of risk that an individual or organization (as determined by the Board of Directors or management) is willing to accept in exchange for its plan, objectives, and innovation.read more and requirements beforehand. Above all, this pursuit lowers the number of current shares and aids in the ratio analysisRatio AnalysisRatio analysis is the quantitative interpretation of the company's financial performance. It provides valuable information about the organization's profitability, solvency, operational efficiency and liquidity positions as represented by the financial statements.read more, resultantly soaring the earnings per share (EPS)Earnings Per Share (EPS)Earnings Per Share (EPS) is a key financial metric that investors use to assess a company's performance and profitability before investing. It is calculated by dividing total earnings or total net income by the total number of outstanding shares. The higher the earnings per share (EPS), the more profitable the company is.read more and shareholder valueShareholder ValueShareholder's value is the value that company shareholders receive as dividends and stock price appreciation due to better decision-making by the management that ultimately results in a company's growth in sales and profit.read more.

It permits the organization to redirect inactive excess capital on its financial statementsFinancial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all levels.read more to shareholders. While discussing dividend vs share buyback, please note that are two different approaches for reimbursement to shareholders.

In terms of dividend vs share buyback, the former demonstrates a fixed taxable return within the present duration while the latter is an unpredictable, tax-efficient future return.

How Does Share Buyback Work?

In other words, the following are three crucial methods to implement the company share repurchase strategy:

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1. Open Market Share Repurchase

Please note that the establishment repurchases its shares promptly through the marketplace, wherein brokers conduct the transactions. Typically, it occurs during a prolonged period owing to the massive number of repurchased shares. The firm is not legally obligated for buyback scheme completion and can cancel it at any point in time.

2. Direct Negotiation

The firm personally contacts single or multiple shareholders for share repurchases whose price certainly covers a surcharge. Though time-consuming, this method might be hugely affordable under specific circumstances since the company directly negotiates the price with shareholder(s).

3. Fixed Price Tender Offer

In this arrangement, the organization proposes a tender offerTender OfferA tender offer is a public proposal by an investor to all the current shareholders to purchase their shares. Such offers can be executed without the permission of the firm’s Board of Directors and the acquirer can coordinate with the shareholders for taking over the firm.read more to shareholders for share reacquisition at a predetermined rate and time. Then, interested shareholders submit their shares for selling to the firm. Also, it incorporates a surcharge corresponding to the latest share price and ensures a quick buyback execution process.

4. Dutch Auction Tender Offer

The corporation presents a tender offer to shareholders by giving a variety of feasible rates with a minimum price pointPrice PointA price point (PP) is a selling price that a manufacturer or retailer recommends for its product or service to remain competitive in the market while also making a profit.read more set above the existing market valueMarket ValueMarket Value (MV) is the projected value for which an asset, or liability, would exchange between a willing buyer and seller in an independent transaction, following proper marketing, and where both parties acted with knowledge, caution, and without compulsion.read more. Consequently, shareholders bid with their specified quantity of shares and minimum selling price.

The company analyses received bids, generates the demand curveDemand CurveDemand Curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the prices of goods and demand quantity and is usually inversely proportionate. That means higher the price, lower the demand. It determines the law of demand i.e. as the price increases, demand decreases keeping all other things equal.read more, and decides the befitting rate in the formerly defined price bracket.

Examples

In other words, let’s go through some examples and understand the share buyback meaning.

Example#1

Let’s assume that there are 10 million outstanding shares of ABC Co. in the market, with the current share price worth $10. Additionally, ABC Co. repurchases 1 million shares at this rate and leaves the remaining 9 million in the marketplace itself. Since the initial share price was $10, ABC Co. has used up $10 million for the repurchase. If ABC Co. had $50 million initially on its annual reportAnnual ReportAn annual report is a document that a corporation publishes for its internal and external stakeholders to describe the company's performance, financial information, and disclosures related to its operations. Over time, these reports have become legal and regulatory requirements.read more, it would possess just $40 million after the repurchasing process. Presuming no change in another asset, Total AssetsTotal AssetsTotal Assets is the sum of a company's current and noncurrent assets. Total assets also equals to the sum of total liabilities and total shareholder funds. Total Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder Equityread more will go down by $10 million. Assuming that there is no variation in earnings, buyback won’t certainly impact the total income.

Most importantly, here is the share buyback journal entry to display the fluctuations in relevant metrics due to this process.

ParticularsBefore BuybackAfter Buyback
Share price$10.0$10.5
Cash$5,00,00,000$4,00,00,000
Total assets$10,00,00,000$9,00,00,000
Earnings$40,00,000$40,00,000
Shares outstanding1,00,00,00090,00,000
Equity outstanding$10,00,00,000$9,45,00,000
EPS$0.40$0.44
P/E2523.625
ROA4.00%4.44%
ROE4.00%4.23%

Example#2

Barclays has now kickstarted the earlier suspended share buyback plan worth 1 billion pounds, focused on decreasing the share capitalShare CapitalShare capital refers to the funds raised by an organization by issuing the company's initial public offerings, common shares or preference stocks to the public. It appears as the owner's or shareholders' equity on the corporate balance sheet's liability side.read more. To clarify, it refilled the accounts on May 23, 2022, with US officials to start the buyback program on May 24 and end it on September 30.

Moreover, it had to resubmit the 20 F-accounts after discovering (in March 2022) the sale of over $15 billion of complex securities above the permissible limit. Additionally, JP Morgan Securities will conduct its current buyback plan.

Share Buyback Benefits

In other words, here are company share buyback benefits:

1. Counterbalancing

An employee stock options plan (ESOP)Employee Stock Options Plan (ESOP)Employee stock option plan (ESOP) is an “option” granted to the company employee which carries the right, but not the obligation, to buy a promised number of shares at a pre-determined price (known as exercise price). read more may surge the total outstanding shares, causing equity dilutionEquity DilutionEquity dilution is a method used by the companies to raise capital for their business and projects by offering ownership in exchange. This process, therefore, reduces or dilutes the privilege of existing owners.read more. However, the firm may repurchase its shares to avoid ownership percentage reduction for current shareholders and counterbalance those offered to employees.

2. Enhanced Shareholder Ownership

Share repurchase may diminish the overall share supply in the marketplace, thus offering every shareholder a bigger equityEquityEquity refers to investor’s ownership of a company representing the amount they would receive after liquidating assets and paying off the liabilities and debts. It is the difference between the assets and liabilities shown on a company's balance sheet.read more proportion than before. Additionally, it prevents surplus capital accumulationCapital AccumulationCapital Accumulation is the increase in the value of an investment or a financial asset, whether it is tangible or intangible. Interest, royalties, rent, dividend, capital gains are the most common examples of capital accumulation.read more compared to the previous reporting periodReporting PeriodA reporting period is a month, quarter, or year during which an organization's financial statements are prepared for external use uniformly across a period of time in order for the general public and users to interpret and evaluate the financial statements.read more with a sole shareholder’s restricted capital expenditure (capex)Capital Expenditure (capex)Capex or Capital Expenditure is the expense of the company's total purchases of assets during a given period determined by adding the net increase in factory, property, equipment, and depreciation expense during a fiscal year.read more requirements and hostile takeoverHostile TakeoverA hostile takeover is a process where a company acquires another company against the will of its management.read more (or buyoutBuyoutA buyout is a process of acquiring a controlling interest in a company, either via out-and-out purchase or through the purchase of controlling equity interest. The underlying principle is that the acquirer believes that the target company’s assets are undervalued.read more).

3. Refined Financial Metrics

The buyback method is typically utilized when executives and management believe it will boost the demand for an undervalued share. Moreover, it enhances other metrics and financial ratiosFinancial RatiosFinancial ratios are indications of a company's financial performance. There are several forms of financial ratios that indicate the company's results, financial risks, and operational efficiency, such as the liquidity ratio, asset turnover ratio, operating profitability ratios, business risk ratios, financial risk ratio, stability ratios, and so on.read more, including EPS, return on assetsReturn On AssetsReturn on assets (ROA) is the ratio between net income, representing the amount of financial and operational income a company has, and total average assets. The arithmetic average of total assets a company holds analyses how much returns a company is producing on the total investment made.read more, return on equityReturn On EquityReturn on Equity (ROE) represents financial performance of a company. It is calculated as the net income divided by the shareholders equity. ROE signifies the efficiency in which the company is using assets to make profit.read more, and price to earnings (PE) ratioPrice To EarningsThe price to earnings (PE) ratio measures the relative value of the corporate stocks, i.e., whether it is undervalued or overvalued. It is calculated as the proportion of the current price per share to the earnings per share. read more.

4. Tax Benefits

The share repurchase procedure certainly helps shareholders gain capital with no tax burden. Therefore, they needlessly acquire greater share value without any further tax liabilities.Tax Liabilities.Tax liability refers to the outstanding amount to be paid by an individual or company to the government. read more

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Happens to Share Price After Buyback?

The share price gets a major boost after the buyback. In other words, the decrease in the total outstanding shares typically encourages the price surge. Hence, the corporation may cause an increase in its share value by generating a supply shock through share repurchase.

How To Sell Buyback Shares?

To sell buyback shares, the shareholder may choose one of the following options:
1. Direct negotiation
2. Open market share buyback
3. The fixed-price tender offer, and
4. Dutch auction tender offer

Also, share buyback journal entry may be recorded by crediting the firm’s cash account and debiting its treasury stock account.

Are Share Buybacks Good?

Share buybacks may be good or bad, depending upon the market situation. Moreover, they assist in producing value for shareholders by returning the capital to those wanting to exit the market investment. However, it may also create a negative public impression about the firm with lacking development potential.
So, it is vital to analyze the firm and overall market situation thoroughly.

This has been a guide to Share Buyback and its Meaning. Here we explain the company share buyback journal entry, methods, benefits, and examples. You may learn more from the following articles –

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Shefali Doshi says

    Good insightful article specifically the methods of Buy back… Dutch method.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      thanks Shefali!

  2. Winnie says

    Waaooh!.. Great insights Dheeraj. Very helpful piece. Thank you.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Thanks Winnie! :-)

  3. Naveen Rishi says

    Talking in the Indian context, buyback is also used to increase the shareholding of the promoter group. In India, however, the company cannot invest in its own shares and has to necessarily cancel them on buyback. Selling the shares in the stock market works out to be a better tax option as compared to selling directly to the company.

    • Dheeraj Vaidya says

      Agreed Naveen on the share repurchase in the Indian context!