Here's what $5 billion in buybacks got Google

Google parent company Alphabet said Thursday that it has completed its first-ever stock repurchase plan, spending $5 billion to buy more than 5 million shares on the open market.

What’d the company get back for that? Three cents per share, according to BGC analyst Colin Gillis.

Gillis deems the buyback program a success because Google bought the shares for a lower price than where the stock is trading now.

The idea of buybacks is to reduce the supply of a company’s stock. That helps raise earnings per share of stock, which in turn, should help boost its price.

Since Google announced the buyback in October, its stock has increased roughly 19%, including Friday’s post-earnings pop. That compares to the Nasdaq’s 4.9% rise during the same period and the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 5.4% rise. Not bad.

And after getting a taste of buybacks from Google, Wall Street wants more.

Gillis said that while the 3 cents per share boost is just a small amount for the stock, he’s hopeful that the $5 billion buyback is just a first of more to come.

“I expect we may see another buyback next time the board meets,” Gillis says.

With $78 billion in cash and short term securities on its balance sheet, Google can do another $5 billion repurchase “pretty easily,” he says.

Asked about the potential for another buyback during Google’s earnings conference call on Thursday, CFO Ruth Porat said that the company always reviews its balance sheet and capital requirements with the board, but that “I’m not going to speculate about a future board decision so nothing more to add on this point.”

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