Friday, December 03, 2004

Cash is up, but so too are Buybacks and reports that cash holdings are up.
In a survey of more than 360 midsize and large nonfinancial companies, Treasury Strategies also found that more than half consider themselves net investors rather than net borrowers....In other words, they have more short-term investments than short-term debt outstanding.

On the plus side, it appears that managers are giving more of this cash back to investors rather than wasting it on negative NPV projects!

To confirm this, also reports that dividends and stock buybacks are up this year: "Many cash-rich companies are giving shareholders an early holiday gift by buying back shares and boosting dividends"

Continuing from

"Companies have been buying back their shares this year partly to offset the increase in outstanding shares that resulted from option exercises and other executive and employee incentive plans involving shares, thus avoiding heavy dilution for existing shareholders"

And at the same time, dividends are also quite popular:

"...nearly half of the companies in the S&P 500 have raised their dividends this year, according to USA Today, which cited Standard & Poor's. What's more, in 2004 at least 10 companies in the index started to pay a dividend for the first time.

Companies have also been aggressively increasing their dividends since last year, when President Bush cut the tax rate for dividend investors."

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