Amazon Still Refuses To Buy Back Its Stock

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Amazon.com Inc.'s investors may not agree, but the e-commerce giant continues to believe their are better uses for its cash than to buy back its own shares. Amazon disclosed Friday in its quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it didn't repurchase any of its shares during the first quarter. The stock surged 2.4% in morning trade toward a record high after first-quarter results, and has run up 25% year to date. Amazon has a $5 billion share repurchase program in place, with no fixed expiration, and said it will "continually evaluate opportunities" to repurchase common stock. But filings show it hasn't bought back any common stock since 2012, when it spent $960 million to buy back 5.3 million shares, which implies and average price of about $181.13. At current prices, Amazon's repurchase program could buy back up to 5.3 million shares, or about 1.1% of the shares outstanding. Amazon had $15.44 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, filings show. Separately, Amazon has never paid a cash dividend. Amazon shares have soared 56% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 15%.

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