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Employees could do with the billions spent on stock buybacks

Richard Curran


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Stock market companies have seen their share prices crash heavily because of Covid-19. Stock photo: Reuters

Stock market companies have seen their share prices crash heavily because of Covid-19. Stock photo: Reuters

REUTERS

Stock market companies have seen their share prices crash heavily because of Covid-19. Stock photo: Reuters

Stock market companies have seen their share prices crash heavily because of Covid-19. While much focus has been on how the US, EU or Irish exchequer is going to underwrite the crisis, how are large listed firms positioned to ride out this storm?

As US airlines say they need a $50bn (€47bn) state dig-out, many of those same firms spent billions of dollars buying back their own shares in the last eight years.

The big four US airlines, Delta, United, American and Southwest, which may run out of cash in a few months, have spent $43.7bn on share buybacks since 2012.