Strategy & Insight

Research Section: How should companies use their spare cash?

How do investor attitudes compare on either side of the Atlantic?

All companies have to try to give investors what they want in terms of return on investment or – perhaps more appropriately – find the kind of investors that want what an investment in that particular stock will provide. Even taking short-sellers and their ilk out of the equation, investors have a wide variety of requirements in terms of returns: some want a stable income, others want the chance of making a fast buck, accepting the higher risks that accompany that strategy.

All else being equal, however, how would the majority of investors prefer the companies they’ve invested in to spend any spare cash? Do they want money, in the form of dividends? A buyback program? Or would they prefer the company to invest in growing the business, perhaps through organic growth or an acquisition?

As part of the research for our European and US investor perception studies, we asked the investment community how it would like cash-rich companies to spend their reserves. In this section we have taken the results from these reports to compare opinions from the US and Europe, as well as from the buy side and the sell side. Wider research into investor sentiment can be found in the investor perception studies, which, like all our research output, are available to our professional subscribers.

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