Share buybacks have become an increasingly popular way to provide value to shareholders of semiconductor companies in 2018.
The chip industry is under pressure from a number of angles, including tariffs, pricing pressures on memory and disconnects in supply and demand for their products.
The Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index (PHLX) has gained less than 1% in the past three months. Last year from June to September, the index tacked on an almost 10% gain by contrast.
In the face of this environment, the individual companies have turned to share buybacks as a way to keep investors happy while they endure the cyclical pressures that semiconductors can bring.
Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) , Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) , Broadcom, Inc. (AVGO) , South Korea's SK Henix, Qualcomm (QCOM) , and NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) have all announced multi-billion-dollar programs to address the need for return to shareholders.
Between them, the $77.6 billion the six companies are aiming to buy back eclipses the nominal World Bank charted GDP of countries like Serbia, Kenya, Panama, Uruguay, Croatia, Luxembourg, and Lebanon.
Jim Cramer was especially bullish on these programs in his column this morning, pointing to the double digit gain reaped by Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) shareholders since the announcement of a buyback program as a proper measuring stick.
Here's a breakdown of just how much of just how much the management of a few of these companies is gobbling up.