Semiconductor companies have pursued large-scale stock buyback programs in order to weather the macroeconomic issues putting pressure on the industry.
Between tariffs, pricing pressures on memory and disconnects in supply and demand for their products, both designers and equipment companies have sought to bolster share prices through the use of the company's pocket book.
Applied Materials (AMAT) posted a significant run from February through March to its yearly high shortly after announcement of a buyback program in February. Following the announcement, the stock ran up about 20% in a month before hitting hard times into the second and third quarters.
"Over the last 12 months alone, we've repurchased 92 million shares, or 9% of the shares outstanding at the beginning of that period," CEO Dan Durn told analysts during the company's earnings presentation in August. "We still have about $5 billion remaining in buyback authorization."
Given the history, the deployment of said funds at the stock's now lower level could help bolster a run again, even as these macro pressures mount.
A potential resulting run-up could be a a big positive for investors and the company. A decline could be disastrous, though.
As signs of a recovery emerge this week, both parties will certainly hope for the former.