CNN Money: Tax cut scoreboard: Workers $6 billion; Shareholders $171 billion
February 16, 2018
By Matt Egan
It's raining stock buybacks on Wall Street — thanks to President Trump's massive corporate tax cuts.
The White House has celebrated the tax cut bonuses unveiled by the likes of Walmart (WMT), Bank of America (BAC) and Disney (DIS).
Yet shareholders, not workers, are far bigger direct winners from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
American companies have lavished Wall Street with $171 billion of stock buyback announcements so far this year, according to research firm Birinyi Associates. That's a record-high for this point of the year and more than double the $76 billion that Corporate America disclosed at the same point of 2017.
Wall Street loves buybacks because they tend to boost the share price in part by inflating a key measure of profitability. In just the past three days, Cisco (CSCO), Pepsi (PEP) and drug maker AbbVie (ABBV) have promised a total of $50 billion of buybacks.
“It's the largest ever — and nothing has really changed, except the tax law,” said Jeffrey Rubin, director of research at Birinyi Associates.