Accelerated share repurchases (ASRs) account for a growing proportion of share buybacks. So what are they and how are they used? Ahmet C. Kurt, PhD, explains.
When investors forecast long-run drivers of stock returns, are cash dividends or payouts such as buybacks more accurate criteria than fundamentals? A new study suggests that they are. Mark Harrison, CFA, explains.
The cold war between passive and active investing has heated up considerably in the last two years, writes Jason Voss, CFA. He offers more insight on this, as well as other picks in this week's edition of Weekend Reads for Investors.
Jason Voss, CFA, highlights some of the most-compelling reads he's encountered over the last month. Among the topics explored: share buybacks, central banks, and dark matter.
They've been dismissed as "self-cannibalization," "corporate cocaine," a recipe for conflict of interest, and a form of stock price manipulation — not to mention short-sighted and counterproductive. But are share buybacks really that bad? We polled CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief readers to see what they thought.
Central bankers in the US have long fixated on the equilibrium real interest rate (ERIR) as their lodestar, an obsession that GMO’s James Montier, in The Idolatry of Interest Rates, bemoans as “a massive exercise in navel gazing.” According to Montier, the broad acceptance of the theoretically dubious ERIR — the real interest rate consistent with full employment of labor and capital resources—is not an example of the wisdom of crowds, but rather “groupthink extraordinaire.” Further, investors’ collective preoccupation with interest rates as an economic “cure-all” and their “deification of central bankers” are equally misguided, says Montier.
The burgeoning market for mergers is reflective of a lack of organic growth opportunities, cheap capital, and flush corporate coffers. Additionally, elevated stock prices provide buyers with a strong currency and sellers with a reason to cash in, which helps explain why M&A activity has tended to peak around market tops, most recently in 2007, and before that in 2000. So while the pace of deals may be a sign that CEOs and their boards are more confident about their prospects for growth, investors should be aware that their timing of late has been less than prescient. For those investors tempted to pick the next takeover target, the safer bet may be on the Wall Street bankers who are doing the matchmaking and financing. They always get paid.
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