- Apple has spent over $500 billion on stock buybacks since 2012, a Markets Insider analysis shows.
- Only eight S&P 500 companies are worth more than the iPhone maker’s total repurchases to date.
- Warren Buffett has welcomed Apple’s buybacks as they’ve boosted his ownership at no cost to him.
Apple has spent upwards of $500 billion on stock buybacks over the last decade, a Markets Insider analysis shows.
The technology titan has spent more on repurchases since 2012 than the entire market capitalization of Visa ($489 billion), JPMorgan ($446 billion), or Exxon Mobil ($441 billion). Only eight companies in the S&P 500 are worth more than Apple’s outlay on buybacks to date.
Indeed, Apple has spent north of $50 billion a year buying its own stock since 2018. It splurged $90 billion on buybacks in its last financial year, and has repurchased $56 billion worth of its shares in the last nine months alone.
Moreover, the iPhone maker’s board recently approved another $90 billion of repurchases. That amount exceeds the total worth of Citigroup ($85 billion), and is nearly double the market value of Hershey’s ($46 billion).
Apple’s striking buyback habit was flagged in a tweet this week by Charlie Bilello, Creative Planning’s chief market strategist. Bilello also noted the iPhone maker’s repurchases have slashed its number of outstanding shares by more than a third, from roughly 25 billion to fewer than 16 billion.
Warren Buffett, a longtime champion of prudent buybacks, has been a cheerleader for Apple’s repurchases. His Berkshire Hathaway empire owns nearly 6% of Apple, and the position accounts for almost half of its roughly $350 billion stock portfolio. When Apple buys back shares, it boosts Berkshire’s ownership at no cost to the conglomerate.
“Much of what the company retained was used to repurchase Apple shares, an act we applaud,” Buffett wrote in his 2021 letter to shareholders. “Tim Cook, Apple’s brilliant CEO, quite properly regards users of Apple products as his first love, but all of his other constituencies benefit from Tim’s managerial touch as well.”