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Share repurchases and employee stock options and their implications for S&P 500 share retirements and expected returns

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  • J. Nellie Liang
  • Steven A. Sharpe

Abstract

We estimate the effects of share repurchases and employee stock option exercises on net share retirements for large S&P 500 companies. We find that, over the past five years, gross repurchases have reduced shares outstanding 2 percent annually; but, owing to the exercise of employee stock options, only about half of those shares were actually retired. Given the recent pace of employee stock option grants, and assuming that equities continue to be priced at about 30 times earnings, our analysis suggests that the pace of net share retirements will fall well below the pace of the last few years, unless corporations use nearly all their earnings to fund shareholder payouts. Moreover, over the long haul, assuming corporations need to retain 40 to 50 percent of their earnings to invest and grow at historical rates, the long-run average pace of net share retirements is likely to fall to 1/2 percent or less.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Nellie Liang & Steven A. Sharpe, 1999. "Share repurchases and employee stock options and their implications for S&P 500 share retirements and expected returns," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1999-59
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jagannathan, Murali & Stephens, Clifford P. & Weisbach, Michael S., 2000. "Financial flexibility and the choice between dividends and stock repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 355-384, September.
    2. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation," Scholarly Articles 29407535, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Mehran, Hamid, 1995. "Executive compensation structure, ownership, and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 163-184, June.
    4. Lambert, Richard A. & Lanen, William N. & Larcker, David F., 1989. "Executive Stock Option Plans and Corporate Dividend Policy," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(04), pages 409-425, December.
    5. Carpenter, Jennifer N., 1998. "The exercise and valuation of executive stock options," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 127-158, May.
    6. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
    7. Huddart, Steven & Lang, Mark, 1996. "Employee stock option exercises an empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 5-43, February.
    8. Jennifer N. Carpenter, 1997. "The Exercise and Valuation of Executive Stock Options," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-017, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    9. George W. Fenn & J. Nellie Liang, 1999. "Corporate payout policy and managerial stock incentives," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ozgür Orhangazi, 2008. "Financialisation and capital accumulation in the non-financial corporate sector:," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(6), pages 863-886, November.
    2. Weston, J. Fred & Siu, Juan A., 2003. "Changing Motives for Share Repurchases," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt9146588t, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    3. John Y. Campbell, 2000. "Asset Pricing at the Millennium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1515-1567, August.
    4. Longstaff, Francis A. & Piazzesi, Monika, 2004. "Corporate earnings and the equity premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 401-421, December.
    5. Robert E. Hall, 2001. "The Stock Market and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1185-1202, December.
    6. Rochon, Mathieu & Desrosiers, Stéphanie & L’Her, Jean-François, 2004. "Révision à la baisse de la prime sur les actions au Canada," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 80(1), pages 137-170, Mars.
    7. J. Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2001. "Who benefits from a bull market? an analysis of employee stock option grants and stock prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-57, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Hess, Dieter E. & Lüders, Erik, 2000. "New economy accounting : why are broad-based stock option plans so attractive?," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-39, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "Valuation Ratios and the Long-Run Stock Market Outlook: An Update," NBER Working Papers 8221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Scott Weisbenner, 2000. "Corporate share repurchases in the 1990s: what role do stock options play?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Orhangazi, Ozgur, 2007. "Financialization and Capital Accumulation in the Nonfinancial Corporate Sector: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation on the US Economy, 1973-2004," MPRA Paper 7724, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Gene D'Avolio & Efi Gildor & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Technology, information production, and market efficiency," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 125-160.
    13. John B. Carlson & Eduard A. Pelz & Mark E. Wohar, 2001. "Will the valuation ratios revert to their historical means? Some evidence from breakpoint tests," Working Paper 0113, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Longstaff, Francis & Piazzesi, Monika, 2002. "Corporate Earnings and the Equity Premium," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt3qn115m4, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.

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    Keywords

    Stock - Prices ; Stocks;

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