Your guide to Telstra's Share Buy-Back

Share buy-backs – especially big ones like Telstra’s – do a lot to stir the pot of public debate. To some they’re a case of Santa come early, showering gifts on shareholders; to others they’re a sign of a company down on its luck, bereft of imagination and opportunities for growth; and to still others, they’re way of making a balance sheet ‘more efficient’ to somehow conjure up additional returns. The truth is more prosaic. A share buy-back is simply a means of giving shareholders back a chunk of their own money, and whether they make sense or not depends on...

Share buy-backs – especially big ones like Telstra’s – do a lot to stir the pot of public debate. To some they’re a case of Santa come early, showering gifts on shareholders; to others they’re a sign of a company down on its luck, bereft of imagination and opportunities for growth; and to still others, they’re way of making a balance sheet ‘more efficient’ to somehow conjure up additional returns.

The truth is more prosaic. A share buy-back is simply a means of giving shareholders back a chunk of their own money, and whether they make sense or not depends on whether its best for shareholders to have the money or for the company to keep it.

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