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Intel cancels new Haifa development center

You're over-simplifying the situation with buybacks, at least in the US. (I'm not familiar with tax laws in other countries.)

In the US dividends are double-taxed. This is because a company that pays dividends pays corporate income tax on their gross taxable income before dividends, and then the stockholders pay income tax on the dividends. Stock buybacks, in theory at least, increase the value of each share by increasing the proportion of the company each share represents, and it avoids the dividend recipient's income tax.

Buybacks also serve to prop up a company's share price, which allows shareholders to increase their capital gains. (Chevron is a good recent example, just announcing a huge $75B buyback program.) Capital gains are taxed at a much lower rate than regular income. Dividends are taxed as regular income.

I'm not a big fan of CNBC, but this interview with Warren Buffett discusses his view of buybacks:

In the process of working on my income tax return this year, I was reminded that my post is not entirely correct.

It is correct that dividends are double-taxed.

What is not completely correct is that dividends are taxed as regular income. If you hold the shares long enough and with the correct timing to exceed 60 days (for common stock) or 90 days in for preferred stock in the 121 days prior to the ex-dividend date (the cutoff date for being eligible to receive the dividend payment), then the dividend is "qualified", and is taxed as a long-term capital gain (with a maximum base rate of 20%). If you don't hold the shares long enough with the correct timing the dividends are "ordinary", and are taxed at the rate of regular income (which may be up to 37%). If you're interested in reading the government's description of these rules, it is available in IRS Publication 550. When I read IRS documents I know why I feel better about ignoring my father's career advice to become an accountant.

Sorry for any confusion I caused with my oversight.
It's a big problem in way too many companies. Micron and Meta are also infamous for spending all the cashflow for stock buybacks only to offset the sbc dilution. Unfortunately there are just countless examples of this action nowadays.

It's a deep problem between the incentives of the company, shareholders and executives/directors. Ultimately it's just shortsighted bad management.
Warren Buffett apparently read your remarks. He has a reply for you.

When you are told that all repurchases are harmful to shareholders or to the country, or particularly beneficial to CEOs, you are listening to either an economic illiterate or a silver-tongued demagogue (characters that are not mutually exclusive).

See page 6. ;)