Mastercard Authorized $11 Billion Stock Buyback Program. These 5 Other Companies Announced Similar.

Discover the biggest stock buyback authorizations last month, December


  • MA - announced a 16% increase in its quarterly cash dividend to 66 cents per share, along with a new $11 billion stock buyback program
  • CI - approved a $10 billion increase in stock buybacks, bringing total authorization to $11.3 billion
  • CNC - revealed bullish 2024 financial outlook, featuring a $4.0 billion stock buyback endorsement by the Board of Directors
  • NOC - allocated an additional $2.5 billion for stock buybacks, totaling $3.8 billion
  • EW - announced a $1 billion stock buyback
  • CLH - greenlit a $500 million expansion to its stock buyback initiative


Sector: Financial Services

Industry: Credit Services

Mastercard Incorporated recently revealed a significant boost in its quarterly cash dividend, now standing at an impressive 66 cents per share – a 16 percent increase from the previous 57 cents per share. This positive development reflects Mastercard's commitment to delivering value to its investors. Scheduled for payment on February 9, 2024, to holders of record as of January 9, 2024, this dividend increase aligns with Mastercard's dedication to rewarding its shareholders.

Adding to Mastercard's strategic financial moves, Mastercard's Board of Directors has given the green light to a robust stock buyback program. Authorizing the repurchase of up to $11 billion of its Class A common stock, this initiative comes on the heels of a previously announced $9 billion program in December 2022. With approximately $3.5 billion still available under the existing stock buyback program as of December 1, 2023, this new authorization underlines Mastercard's confidence in its financial position and growth prospects.

Mastercard Incorporated is a global technology company specializing in transaction processing and payment-related products and services. With a presence in the United States and internationally, Mastercard facilitates payment transactions, including authorization, clearing, and settlement. Serving account holders, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, governments, and organizations, Mastercard provides integrated products and services, such as credit programs, access to funds, prepaid payment programs, and commercial payment solutions. Additionally, Mastercard offers value-added services like cyber and intelligence products, analytics, consulting, and loyalty programs. Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Purchase, New York, Mastercard is a leading provider of payment solutions under the MasterCard, Maestro, and Cirrus brands.

Mastercard Incorporated's stock rose 4% in a week from the time LevelFields.AI sent the alert


Sector: Healthcare

Industry: Healthcare Plans

The Cigna Group has greenlit a significant $10 billion increase in its stock buyback program, elevating the total authorization to $11.3 billion. The decision reflects Cigna's confidence in its undervalued shares and a commitment to enhancing shareholder returns. David M. Cordani, the Chairman and CEO, emphasized the belief that stock buybacks are a judicious use of capital, aligning with their mission to facilitate high-quality care, affordability, and improved health outcomes.

Cigna plans to allocate the majority of its discretionary cash flow toward stock buybacks in 2024, with an ambitious goal of buying back at least $5 billion of common stock by mid-2024. A portion of this endeavor will involve an accelerated stock buyback program scheduled for the first quarter of 2024. Cordani expressed confidence in Cigna's trajectory, citing consistent EPS growth of over 13% annually in the past decade and reiterating a commitment to achieving a long-term annual adjusted EPS growth target of 10-13%.

Cigna Corporation, founded in 1792 and headquartered in Bloomfield, Connecticut, is a global provider of insurance and related services. Cigna operates through four segments: Health Services, Integrated Medical, International Markets, and Group Disability and Other. It offers a wide range of products and services, including pharmacy benefits management, health management, medical, dental, vision, and behavioral health coverage. Cigna serves insured and self-insured clients, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, and mobile employees of multinational organizations. Cigna also provides group disability, life, accident, and specialty insurance products. Cigna distributes its offerings through various channels, including insurance brokers, consultants, and direct-to-consumer channels. Additionally, it has a strategic alliance with Priority Health to enhance health care coverage accessibility in Michigan.


Sector: Healthcare

Industry: Healthcare Plans

Centene Corporation has unveiled its 2024 financial guidance during its investor day, demonstrating a commitment to delivering long-term shareholder value. Under the leadership of CEO Sarah M. London, Centene is focused on making healthcare affordable and accessible to more Americans. Centene's increased 2024 adjusted diluted EPS outlook of "greater than $6.70" reflects positive operational momentum and successful execution of its strategic plan.

As part of its financial guidance, Centene anticipates total revenues between $142.5 billion and $145.5 billion, with a strong emphasis on health benefits and operational efficiency. Notably, the Board of Directors has authorized a $4.0 billion increase to Centene's existing stock repurchase program, signaling confidence in Centene's future prospects. This move follows significant progress made in the previous year, and Centene aims to continue delivering results in 2024.

Investors should closely monitor Centene's performance, given its strategic initiatives and the positive outlook outlined in its financial guidance. The authorized stock buyback reflects Centene's confidence in its own value and may present a compelling opportunity for investors seeking long-term growth in the healthcare sector. Stay tuned for Centene's full-year 2023 earnings report on February 6, 2024, for a more comprehensive overview of Centene's financial health.

Centene Corporation, founded in 1984 and headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, operates as a multinational healthcare enterprise with a focus on providing programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. Centene's Managed Care segment offers health plan coverage through government-subsidized programs such as Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and Medicare-Medicaid plans. Services encompass a wide range, including primary and specialty physician care, hospital care, emergency and urgent care, telehealth, pharmacy benefits management, and behavioral health services. Additionally, Centene's Specialty Services segment provides various healthcare products and services, including pharmacy benefits management, triage, wellness, disease management, and vision and dental services, serving state programs, correctional facilities, healthcare organizations, and commercial entities. Centene collaborates with AT&T to deliver comprehensive healthcare solutions.


Sector: Industrials

Industry: Aerospace & Defense

Northrop Grumman Corporation has greenlit an additional $2.5 billion for the repurchase of its common stock, bringing the total authorized amount to approximately $3.8 billion. As a trailblazing global aerospace and defense technology company, Northrop Grumman is dedicated to providing innovative solutions that empower customers to connect, protect, and explore. This stock buyback initiative reflects Northrop Grumman's commitment to maximizing shareholder value while maintaining flexibility. The decision, subject to market conditions and management's discretion, allows for repurchases through open market transactions or private negotiations. This move not only underscores Northrop Grumman's confidence in its financial position but also highlights its strategic vision in navigating the dynamic aerospace and defense sector. Investors may find reassurance in Northrop Grumman's proactive approach, and analysts are keen to observe the potential impact of this buyback on Northrop Grumman's stock performance in the evolving market landscape.

Northrop Grumman Corporation, a leading security company founded in 1939 and headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, specializes in providing innovative systems, products, and solutions across various sectors, including autonomous systems, cyber, space, strike, and logistics. Operating through Aeronautics Systems, Defense Systems, Mission Systems, and Space Systems segments, Northrop Grumman designs, develops, and integrates a wide range of technologies, from manned and autonomous aircraft to spacecraft systems, high-energy laser systems, and microelectronics. Northrop Grumman serves both domestic and international customers, offering comprehensive support in intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, communications, and more. Northrop Grumman's diverse portfolio includes launch vehicles, defense electronics, precision weapons, satellites, C4ISR systems, cyber solutions, and life-cycle services, contributing to national security, civil government, and commercial missions worldwide.


Sector: Healthcare

Industry: Medical Devices

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation recently unveiled its ambitious plans for sustained growth, emphasizing a focused strategy in structural heart solutions. During its annual investor conference, CEO Bernard Zovighian outlined key developments, including the completion of enrollment in PROGRESS for moderate aortic stenosis patients by early 2024 and the anticipated data release from EARLY TAVR at TCT 2024 for severe asymptomatic AS patients. Edwards Lifesciences is set to commercialize the EVOQUE tricuspid valve in Europe, eyeing U.S. approval in mid-2024, and expects a CE Mark for SAPIEN M3 by the end of 2025.

Zovighian highlighted Edwards Lifesciences's 2023 achievements, reinforcing its TAVR leadership and reaching milestones with new mitral and tricuspid technologies. Projections for 2024 indicate robust global sales growth of $6.3 - $6.6 billion and TAVR sales reaching $4.0 - $4.3 billion. Edwards also disclosed its intent to spin-off Critical Care by the end of 2024, focusing on TAVR, Transcatheter Mitral and Tricuspid Therapies (TMTT), and Surgical Structural Heart.

In a strategic move, Edwards announced a $1 billion stock buyback authorization, showcasing confidence in its future prospects. This decision aligns with Edwards Lifesciences's historical practice of authorizing additional shares under its buyback program when prior authorizations near completion. The stock buyback, combined with the outlined growth initiatives, underlines Edwards Lifesciences Corporation's commitment to delivering long-term value to its shareholders. Investors should closely monitor the unfolding developments in the structural heart space and the progress of Edwards' innovative technologies.

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, founded in 1958 and headquartered in Irvine, California, specializes in providing innovative products and technologies for structural heart disease, critical care, and surgical monitoring on a global scale. Focused on advancing cardiovascular care, Edwards Lifesciences offers a comprehensive range of solutions, including transcatheter heart valve replacement and repair products, surgical heart valve therapy options, and critical care products like hemodynamic monitoring systems. Edwards Lifesciences is dedicated to minimally invasive approaches and distributes its cutting-edge products through a combination of direct sales force and independent distributors.

Edwards Lifesciences Corporation's stock rose 14% in a week from the time LevelFields.AI sent the alert


Sector: Industrials

Industry: Waste Management

Clean Harbors, Inc., a prominent provider of environmental and industrial services in North America, recently greenlit a substantial $500 million expansion to its ongoing stock buyback initiative. This decision, announced by Chief Financial Officer Eric J. Dugas, reflects Clean Harbors's commitment to an agile capital allocation strategy. The existing program, which had $54 million in remaining availability as of December 1, 2023, has seen Clean Harbors repurchase around 8.5 million shares at an average cost of approximately $64 per share under the initial $600 million stock repurchase plan.

Dugas emphasized the significance of the stock buyback program in their broader financial strategy, highlighting the multifaceted approach to value creation, encompassing acquisitions, internal investments, stock buybacks, and debt reduction. Clean Harbors aims to fund these repurchases through its robust cash resources, maintaining a healthy balance sheet supported by strong cash generation. This financial strength provides the flexibility needed to execute their Vision 2027 growth strategy, ensuring robust returns for shareholders.

Clean Harbors, Inc., founded in 1980 and headquartered in Norwell, Massachusetts, is a leading provider of environmental, energy, and industrial services in North America. Clean Harbors operates through two segments: Environmental Services and Safety-Kleen. The Environmental Services segment specializes in the collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, offering a range of services from resource recovery to incineration and wastewater treatment. The Safety-Kleen segment focuses on providing specially designed parts washers, cleaning products, waste transportation services, vacuum services, and lubricants for various industries. Clean Harbors utilizes specialty equipment and resources to deliver comprehensive environmental solutions, including industrial maintenance and specialty services.

Clean Harbors, Inc.'s stock rose 5% in a week from the time LevelFields.AI sent the alert

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