S&P 500 stock buybacks rose 59% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014, to $159.3 billion. The amount is a 23% increase over the fourth quarter of 2013.
For the trailing 12-month period ended March 31, S&P 500 companies bought back $534.9 billion – 29% higher than the previous 12-month period.
According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, the 12-month high was reached in fiscal 2007, when buybacks reached $589.1 billion.
The five companies buying back the most stock in the last 12 months were: Apple ($43.9 billion), International Business Machines ($19.4 billion), Exxon Mobil ($14.2 billion), Oracle ($10.7 billion) and Cisco Systems ($9.6 billion).