See the downward slope in the attached bar chart, posted Saturday by the Braeburn Group’s Robert Paul Leitao?
It shows what’s happened to Apple’s fully diluted share count over the past three years.
Since Apple hit a split-adjusted high of 6.637 billion shares outstanding in 2012, the company has repurchased 12.09% of its fully diluted shares.
“In a way,” writes Leitao, “the massive share repurchase program works as a leveraged buyout for the benefit of long-term shareholders.”
Leitao is bullish on Apple. He thinks Wall Street still doesn’t get what’s going on. The company’s revenue is up nearly 25% over the past three quarters. EPS is up 39% over the same period, in part, as he shows, because S is still shrinking.