April 27, 2023: On Tuesday, Google’s parent firm Alphabet said its board of directors authorises $70 billion in share repurchases.
If Google spends the entire amount on buybacks, it will show a continuation of last year’s speed. Alphabet announced $70 billion in share buying in April 2022.
Since then, Google has had to slash costs and lay off workers, which cited “a different economic reality” and overhiring.
Alphabet said it would consider the stock price and the market conditions when deciding when to buy back its shares of both Class A and Class C stock.
Class A shares are the initially issued Google shares that stated voting rights, while Class C shares are newer ones with no voting rights. There are super-voting Class B shares that are not publicly traded.
Alphabet stock increased over 3% in extended trading after the company reported earnings that surpassed Wall Street expectations.
In 2022, Alphabet repurchased more of its stock than any other company besides Apple.
Share repurchases have become a hot political situation in Washington, D.C. Investors such as Warren Buffett are fond of share repurchases because they effectively make existing shares valuable by reducing the number of unique. Buffett has called critics of share buybacks economically “illiterate.”
But some politicians, including President Joe Biden, have aimed share repurchases, saying they are a terrible use of company profits over alternatives like pay increases and that the practice effectively manipulates share prices. A 1% tax on buybacks supported by the Biden administration was passed last year.