Will stock repurchases doom disbursements? It's not my question. It's how Shirley Lazo kicked off her column in this past weekend's Barron's. With more and more companies turning to massive share repurchases -- in some years to the tune of eclipsing actual cash payouts -- she wonders if the gravy dividend days are over.
Ralph Casale and I debated the issue last year, but with Timothy Otte and Chuck Saletta battling it out over the same topic in an email discussion last month, we all felt it was best to revisit the topic with fresh opinions.
Chuck feels that cash dividends are the best move. Timothy prefers to see companies repurchase chunks of their outstanding shares.
Sure, you can have it both ways. In recent months, companies like CBS
However, not all companies are made out of money. They have choices to make. Dividends? Buybacks? Which Fool will deliver the winning argument? That's what this week's bout is all about.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz did argue for buybacks last year, though he's never one to look a gift dividend check in the mouth. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.