This year, Apple spent three times more investing in itself than the next closest company in the S&P 500, totaling $56 billion on stock buybacks in fiscal 2014.
Apple’s total buyback efforts for the fiscal year were calculated by FactSet, and highlighted by MarketWatchon Friday. The $56 billion spent by Apple well exceeded second-place S&P 500 finisher IBM Corp, which used $19.2 billion on buybacks.
In the last quarter alone, Apple spent a massive $17 billion on stock buybacks. When that sum was revealed in October, it was estimated that Apple had spent $45 billion on repurchasing stock in fiscal 2014, but the latest data from FactSet shows Apple went even beyond that.
In fact, Apple also owns the top two buyback quarters ever in the S&P 500 tracked by FactSet, since it began measuring the data in 2005. The $17 billion Apple repurchased last quarter is second only to the $18.6 billion it bought in the first quarter of fiscal 2014.
Apple first announced its dividend share and repurchase program in March of 2012, and at the time pledged to spend $45 billion on itself over three years. The company increased the program to $100 billiona year later.
Then again this April, Apple announced it would once again increase its buyback efforts, and the company also revealed it would undergo a 7-for-1 stock split that eventually came to pass in June. Based on Apple’s current annual schedule, the company would likely revisit its buyback efforts once again, and take into consideration the requests of billionaire Carl Icahn and others, following its March 2015 quarter.
Faced with pressure from the likes of Icahn, Apple has said it will review its share buyback program annually.