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Goldman Sachs predicts robust earnings growth for big tech companies like Meta, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Apple.
As a result, Goldman is forecasting a 13% year-over-year increase in S&P 500 share repurchases, totaling $925 billion.
Share repurchases signal confidence in a company’s future, potentially boosting stock value.
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Watch for robust earnings growth at big techs such as Meta Platforms Inc. NASDAQ: META, Nvidia Corp. NASDAQ: NVDA, Microsoft Corp. NASDAQ: MSFT and Apple Inc. NASDAQ: AAPL to increase the rate of share buybacks this year, says a recent report from Goldman Sachs. 
Goldman Sachs is forecasting that S&P 500 companies will increase share repurchases by 13% year-over-year, to $925 billion. The investment bank’s analysts previously anticipated a 4% increase in share buybacks, after a 14% decrease in 2023. Get Alphabet alerts:Sign Up
Analysts added that they expect buybacks to surpass $1 trillion by 2025.
Why is this important for investors?
Share Buybacks Boost Stock Value
Price appreciation and dividends get the lion’s share of attention from investors, but share repurchases increase stock value by signaling confidence in the company’s future. They reduce the supply of outstanding shares, which can boost earnings per share. 
Buybacks can potentially drive up stock prices due to improved fundamentals and increased demand for shares while supply has been reduced. 
In addition, buying back shares is a tax-efficient way to return capital to shareholders without committing to regular dividend payments. 
Goldman Sachs’ buyback forecast was also a nod to continued earnings growth at mega-cap technology stocks and communications services stocks. Analysts expect these stocks to account for a “substantial” percentage of the growth in S&P 500 buyback this year.
Goldman Sachs: Macro Improvements Driving Forecast
While Tesla Inc. NASDAQ: TSLA earnings are declining and the stock is in a slump, artificial intelligence stocks like Advanced Micro Devices NASDAQ: AMD and Applied Materials Inc. NASDAQ: AMAT have rotated into leadership. 
In their report, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote, “Improvements in the broader macro environment since the fall, like the decline in Treasury yields, also help to inform our forecast upgrade.”

Headwinds for Increased Buybacks
However, frothy valuations and uncertainty about the upcoming U.S. presidential election could put a damper on buybacks, according to Goldman Sachs analyst Cormac Conners. 
He added that current regulatory filings show the so-called Magnificent Seven stocks have authorized a total of $215 billion in share repurchases for this year, up 30% from a year ago. 
Dividends or Buybacks?
If more big techs and communications services companies begin paying dividends, that could diminish repurchase plans. For example, a recently announced Meta Platforms dividend of 50 cents per share indicates management’s confidence in the company’s future earnings.
If more high-growth companies opt to pay dividends, that could reduce their enthusiasm about buybacks. 
Apple and Microsoft pay dividends, but Nvidia, Inc. NASDAQ: AMZN, Tesla and Alphabet Inc. NASDAQ: GOOGL do not. Analysts say Alphabet and Amazon are among stocks likely to initiate a dividend. 
Fast-growing tech companies often prioritize reinvesting profits into research, development and expansion rather than paying dividends. Taking Nvidia as an example, it makes sense that the company would want to ramp up its AI chipmaking capabilities right now, opting to return capital to shareholders in the form of price appreciation.
Techs Often Retain Earnings 
This focus on growth and new opportunities helps fast-moving companies like Nvidia maintain a competitive edge. 
Additionally, tech companies may prefer retaining earnings for flexibility, such as funding acquisitions or investing in innovation. Techs such as Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft are known as cash hoarders. 
In addition to providing options, the cash also provides a cushion due to market and economic uncertainties. 

In the past month, companies including Ulta Beauty Inc. NASDAQ: ULTA, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. NYSE: ADM, Ross Stores Inc. NASDAQ: ROST, Tidewater Inc. NYSE: TDW, TJX Companies Inc. NYSE: TJX and eBay Inc. NASDAQ: EBAY announced share buyback programs. Before you consider Alphabet, you’ll want to hear this.MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street’s top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on… and Alphabet wasn’t on the list.While Alphabet currently has a “Moderate Buy” rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.View The Five Stocks Here Looking to avoid the hassle of mudslinging, volatility, and uncertainty? You’d need to be out of the market, which isn’t viable. So where should investors put their money? Find out with this report.Get This Free Report

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