Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Microsoft Corp shares rose 1 per cent in early trading on Wednesday after the company announced a $60-billion share repurchase plan, its biggest ever.

The announcement comes just days after two U.S. Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal to tax corporate stock buybacks to help fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5-trillion investment plan.

The senators said the “Stock Buyback Accountability Act” would encourage large corporations to invest in their workers rather than enriching investors and executives by boosting stock prices.

Story continues below advertisement

Democrat lawmakers have also proposed a substantial rollback of tax cuts implemented by Donald Trump’s administration, including raising the top tax rate on corporations to 26.5 per cent from the current 21 per cent.

Microsoft shares have soared about 35 per cent this year, making it the second most valuable company in the world with market capitalization of $2.25-trillion.

The buyback plan, which has no end date and can be terminated at any time, follows similar announcements by other U.S. tech giants.

Apple and Alphabet said earlier this year they were returning $90-billion and $50-billion to their shareholders, respectively, and have ramped up their plans since the corporate tax cuts in 2017.

“They have to be opportunistic … being well hedged given the ambiguity of the future of tax legislation,” said Doug Ciocca at Kavar Capital Partners, which owns Microsoft shares.

Microsoft has benefited from an accelerated shift to cloud computing and demand for laptops during the pandemic and has accumulated $130-billion in cash and cash equivalents. It announced it last repurchase program of $40-billion in 2019.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies