#GOPTaxScam For The Rich In Action: While American Families Face Higher Costs Thanks To President Trump’s Policies, Corporate Executives & Wealthy Shareholders Are Cashing In With $450 Billion In New Corporate Stock Buybacks Announced Already In 2018

May 30, 2018

TrimTabs: “The Main Use Of Corporate America’s Tax Savings Will Be Takeovers And Stock Buybacks Rather Than Capital Investment Or Hiring”

WSJ: “The Renaissance In Capital Spending The Tax Cut Was Supposed To Bring About Isn’t Showing Up In The Economic Data”

Axios: Forget About Broad-Based Pay Hikes, Executives Say 

Corporation

Share Buyback Amount Announced in 2018 (Billions)

Date

Apple

$100

1-May

Cisco            

$25

14-Feb

Wells Fargo*

$22.6

23-Jan

PepsiCo

$15

13-Feb

Broadcom

$12

12-Apr

Oracle

$12

1-Feb

Micron

$10

21-May

Qualcomm

$10

9-May

AbbVie       

$10

15-Feb

Amgen

$10

1-Feb

Facebook

$9

25-Apr

Alphabet (Google)

$8.6

1-Feb

Adobe

$8

21-May

Booking

$8

25-Apr

Visa             

$7.5

1-Feb

Applied Materials

$6

14-Feb

Mondel?z International

$6

31-Jan

eBay           

$6

1-Feb

Starbucks*

$6

26-Apr

Marathon Petroleum

$5

30-Apr

Celgene

$5

14-Feb

Lowe’s

$5

26-Jan

McKesson

$4

24-May

NetApp, Inc.

$4

5-Apr

CSX               

$3.5

12-Feb

Phillips 66

$3.3

14-Feb

Celgene

$3

24-May

TJX

$3

28-Feb

Constellation Brands

$3

5-Jan

Waters Corporation

$3

24-Apr

Fifth Third Bancorp*

$2.8

27-Feb

Franklin Resources*

$2.7

12-Apr

Textron*

$2.56

18-Apr

Valero

$2.5

23-Jan

Electronic Arts

$2.4

8-May

Clorox

$2

24-May

Southwest Airlines

$2

16-May

MGM Resorts

$2

10-May

American Airlines

$2

25-Apr

Amphenol

$2

25-Apr

KLA-Tencor

$2

19-Mar

Lam Research

$2

6-Mar

Eastman Chemical

$2

6-Feb

Juniper Networks

$2

30-Jan

SiriusXM                          

$2

23-Jan

Metlife

$1.5

22-May

Baxter

$1.5

20-Feb

IQVIA

$1.5

14-Feb

Teradyne

$1.5

24-Jan

Leidos*

$1.3

22-Feb

C.H. Robinson*

$1.27

10-May

United Rentals

$1.25

18-Apr

Hilton*

$1.25

9-Apr

QEP Resources

$1.25

28-Feb

Kroger

$1.2

20-Apr

Cincinnati Financial*

$1.2

26-Jan

T. Rowe Price*

$1.1

26-Apr

Tiffany

$1

23-May

Altria

$1

17-May

Royal Caribbean

$1

9-May

Ball Corporation

$1

25-Apr

Whirlpool

$1

24-Apr

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

$1

18-Apr

AutoZone

$1

20-Mar

Dollar General

$1

15-Mar

Hess Corporation

$1

8-Mar

Devon Energy

$1

7-Mar

NRG Energy

$1

1-Mar

Cardinal Health

$1

8-Feb

O’Reilly Automotive

$1

7-Feb

Skyworks                        

$1

5-Feb

Altria             

$1

1-Feb

Rockwell Automation

$1

25-Jan

Buybacks <$1 Billion

$52.4

 

TOTAL Corporate Buybacks Authorized in 2018

 

$451.6 Billion

   *Based on closing price on the day share buyback was announced. 

THE GOP TAX LAW IS OVERWHELMINGLY BENEFITTING CORPORATE EXECUTIVES AND WEALTHY INVESTORS WITH RECORD STOCK BUYBACKS

CNN Money:  Tax Cut Sparks Record-Setting $178 Billion Buyback Boom.  “S&P 500 companies showered Wall Street with at least $178 billion of stock buybacks during the first three months of 2018, according to Howard Silverblatt of S&P Dow Jones Indices. That's a 34% bump from last year and tops the prior record of $172 billion set in 2007, just prior to the start of the Great Recession.” [CNN Money, 5/20/18]

Reuters: U.S. stock buybacks in earnings season top $183 billion: TrimTabs. “The swelling figures for buybacks have been driven by the December U.S. tax overhaul, which lowered the corporate tax rate. Several companies have since directed their tax savings to share repurchases. ‘The buyback boom early this year confirms our view that the main use of corporate America’s tax savings will be takeovers and stock buybacks rather than capital investment or hiring,’ TrimTabs said in its report.” [Reuters, 5/22/18]

Bloomberg: Biopharma Deploy Trump’s Tax Windfall to Buy Back Billions in Stock. “Drugmakers, whose industry pricing faced renewed scorn this month from President Donald Trump, have been taking advantage of the U.S. tax overhaul he signed last year to buy back shares of their own underperforming stocks. Large-cap biopharmaceutical companies took advantage of repatriation of overseas profits and lower corporate tax rates to push share repurchases to the highest level in at least 10 years. Companies led by Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Inc. bought back a combined $16.7 billion in the most recent quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.” [Bloomberg, 5/25/18]

WSJ: Why Aren’t Companies Spending More? “The renaissance in capital spending the tax cut was supposed to bring about isn’t showing up in the economic data. The Commerce Department on Friday reported that orders for durable goods—long-lasting equipment like tractors and machinery—dropped 1.7% in April from a month earlier.” [WSJ, 5/27/18]


AT THE SAME TIME, PRICES FOR WORKING AMERICANS ARE GOING UP – GAS PRICES ARE SOARING THANKS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP’S RECKLESS AGENDA

Goldman Sachs Senior Economist Daan Struyven: “On the activity side, we estimate that higher oil prices are currently weighing on the quarterly annualized pace of GDP growth by 0.1pp, with a negative 0.25pp contribution from lower real consumption outweighing a positive 0.15pp contribution from higher energy capital spending. The estimated drag on consumption is significant because it should roughly cancel out the 2018 consumption boost from tax cuts and is particularly large on the lower end of the income distribution.” [Q&A on Oil Prices and the US Economy, 5/15/18]

Citigroup Energy Analyst Eric Lee: “It’s a combination of things, but what really took [oil] prices to the current level is U.S. policy or at least uncertainty.” [Politico, 5/28/18]

GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick DeHaan: “The decrease in motorist’s appetite to hit the road comes at a time when the national average gasoline price is at its highest point since November 2014 due to a recent rally in oil prices because of long-term OPEC production cuts, the U.S. exiting the Iran nuclear deal, declining U.S. oil inventories and high demand.” [Press Release, 5/21/18]

CBS: Iran Deal Exit Threatens Americans' Tax Cut Savings. “With the U.S. abandoning the Iran deal, Americans can prepare for higher prices at the gas pump -- and a hit to everything from airline tickets to the cost of package delivery.” [CBS, 5/9/18]

U.S. News & World Report: “Analysts, trade groups, former officials and scholars have broadly agreed that the president's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and re-implement U.S. sanctions, likely helped drive up benchmark oil prices by stoking investors' fears about geopolitical turmoil and a cutoff in Iranian oil production.” [U.S. News & World Report, 5/25/18]


TRUMP-REPUBLICAN SABOTAGE IS DRIVING HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS HIGHER

LA Times: Trump's New Insurance Rules Are Panned By Nearly Every Healthcare Group That Submitted Formal Comments. “More than 95% of healthcare groups that have commented on President Trump’s effort to weaken Obama-era health insurance rules criticized or outright opposed the proposals, according to a Times review of thousands of official comment letters filed with federal agencies.” … “State insurance regulators from both political parties have also warned that the administration’s proposals could destabilize insurance markets, raise premiums for sick Americans and open the door to insurance fraud.” [LA Times, 5/30/18]

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield President and CEO Chet Burrell: “Continuing actions on the part of the administration to systematically undermine the market and make it almost impossible to carry out the mission,” Burrell said. “If continued efforts at the federal level undermine the marketplaces, I would think the board would have to examine what they would want — that’s very much on their mind.” [Washington Post, 5/1/18]

Kaiser Family Foundation VP Larry Levitt: “Insurers are pointing toward actions by Congress and the Trump administration that will undermine the market and increase premiums. Bearing the brunt will be middle-class people who buy individual policies and don’t get subsidies under the ACA.” [Yahoo Finance, 5/22/18]

AHIP Senior Executive VP Matt Eyles: “When you think about things like the individual mandate going away, some of the other proposed rules that are being put in place, whether it be around association plans, short-term policies, it’s just still a nasty soup right now that’s brewing and we’re looking ahead to 2019 and it’s not a really great picture right now.” [The Hill, 4/9/18]

 

WHILE AMERICAN FAMILIES PAY MORE BECAUSE OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ACTIONS, MAJOR CORPORATIONS THAT BENEFIT FROM THE TAX LAW ARE LAYING OFF AMERICAN WORKERS

Axios: Forget About Broad-Based Pay Hikes, Executives Say. “Very few Americans have enjoyed steadily rising pay beyond inflation over the last couple of decades, a shift from prior years in which the working and middle classes enjoyed broad-based wage gains as the economy expanded. Why it matters: Now, executives of big U.S. companies suggest that the days of most people getting a pay raise are over, and that they also plan to reduce their work forces further.” [Axios, 5/27/18]

Vox: Harley-Davidson Took Its Tax Cut, Closed A Factory, And Rewarded Shareholders. “It’s a pattern that’s played out over and over since the tax cuts passed — companies profit, shareholders reap the benefits, and workers get left out. Corporate stock buybacks hit a record $178 billion in the first three months of 2018; average hourly earnings for American workers are up 67 cents over the past year. Harley-Davidson is an American symbol, and President Trump has trotted it out as an example of business success. But as it’s getting its tax cut, it’s outsourcing jobs and paying shareholders.” [Vox, 5/22/18]

Financial Times: Wells Fargo Plans To Close 900 Branches Despite $3.4bn Tax Boost. “Wells Fargo plans to close about 900 branches as part of efforts to cut costs in the wake of its mis-selling scandal even though the bank’s profits received an immediate $3.4bn boost from the US corporate tax cut.” [Financial Times, 1/12/18]

Charlotte Observer:  Large-Scale Wells Fargo Job Cuts Hit Home In This North Carolina County.  “Wells Fargo is behind one of the biggest job cuts in the state in the past five years, a move that will hit a small eastern North Carolina county especially hard. In March, the San Francisco bank disclosed plans to lay off 593 workers in Pitt County in Eastern North Carolina, the latest step in a consolidation push that previously impacted Charlotte and other U.S. markets.” [Charlotte Observer, 5/1/18]

Washington Post: Trump Praised An Ohio Bank For Hiking Wages. Now The Bank Is Making An Even Bigger Payout — To Shareholders. “When an Ohio bank announced raises and bonuses for low-wage workers because of the Republican tax cuts, President Trump touted it as evidence the tax law would be a boon to workers — and not, as Democrats charge, a giveaway whose primary beneficiaries are among the wealthy. On Tuesday, that bank, Fifth Third, said it would buy back as many as 100 million corporate shares, a move that is projected to cost nearly $3 billion.” [Washington Post, 2/28/18]

Chicago Tribune: Fifth Third-MB Merger Accelerates Trend Of Bank Branch Closures. “Fifth Third Bank’s proposed acquisition of Chicago-based MB Financial could mean 20 percent of the combined company's local branches close by the end of next year.” [Chicago Tribune, 5/22/18]

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