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7 big stock buybacks: Meta, UPS

By Davit Kirakosyan

Investing.com -- Here are some of the week's biggest share-buyback headlines that you may have missed on InvestingPro. Sign up for real-time coverage of all the most important share-repurchase news.

Meta's mega buyback

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) announced a $40 billion increase in share repurchase authorization. This, together with an announced Q4 revenue beat and stricter cost controls this year, sent shares more than 23% higher on Thursday.

The company cut its forecast for operating costs by around 7%, as management signaled a sharper focus on profitability, calling 2023 the "Year of Efficiency."

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While the advertising market remains challenging due to the weak economy, resulting in a 55% decrease in Q4 net income to $4.65B and a drop in EPS to $1.76, Meta's Q1 revenue forecast of $26B to $28.5B meets market expectations.

Shares closed the week with more than a 22% gain.

UPS to repurchase $5B

UPS (NYSE:UPS) approved a new $5B share repurchase program and hiked its dividend by 6.6% to $1.62 per share, or $6.48 annualized, for an annual yield of 3.7%.

The company’s shares surged more than 4% on Tuesday after the company announced a Q4 EPS beat, while revenue of $27B missed the Street estimate of $28.08B. For fiscal 2023, the company expects revenue in the range of $97B-99.4B, compared to the consensus of $100.03B.

Shares closed the week with a 5% gain.

Altria, Shell, and another 3 big buybacks

Altria Group (NYSE:MO) approved a new $1B share repurchase program, which it expects to complete by December 31, 2023. Shares surged 5% on Wednesday after the company reported its Q4 results, with EPS of $1.18 coming in better than the consensus of $1.17. Revenue was $5.08B, missing the consensus estimate of $5.15B. For fiscal 2023, the company expects EPS in the range of $4.98-$5.13, compared to the consensus of $5.05.

Shell (NYSE:SHEL) (LON:SHEL) announced the commencement of a $4B share buyback program, which will be completed prior to the company’s Q1/23 results announcement, scheduled for May 4, 2023. The purpose of the program is to reduce the issued share capital of the company. All shares repurchased as part of the program will be canceled. The company reported better-than-expected Q4 income on Thursday, leading to a record-high profit for 2022, as it was boosted by a surge in energy prices caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX) announced an increase in its share repurchase authorization by $1B. The company also hiked its dividend by 7.6% to $0.71 per share, or $2.84 per share annualized.

Arrow Electronics (NYSE:ARW) announced an additional $1B share repurchase authorization. Shares surged around 10% on Thursday after the company reported in-line Q4 results and better-than-expected guidance for Q1/23.

Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) announced today an accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreement worth $500 million with Bank of America to buy back common stock, in addition to previous plans for share repurchases.

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For rapid-fire, comprehensive coverage of share buybacks, dividends, and all the biggest news that matters to investors, try InvestingPro.

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