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Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 20, 113 companies announced stock buybacks totaling $173 billion, the highest level ever at this point in the year, according to Birinyi Associates' Jeffrey Rubin.

Go deeper: Companies unveil wage hikes after tax bill passage

43 companies announced buybacks of more than $500 million:

  • Cisco, Feb. 14 — $25 billion
  • Wells Fargo, Jan. 23 — $22.6 billion
  • PepsiCo, Feb. 13 — $15 billion
  • Amgen, Feb. 1 — $10 billion
  • Abbvie, Feb. 15 — $10 billion
  • Alphabet, Feb. 1 — $8.6 billion
  • Visa, Feb. 1 — $7.5 billion
  • eBay, Jan. 31 — $6 billion
  • Mondelez International, Jan. 31 — $6 billion
  • Applied Materials, Feb. 14 — $6 billion
  • Lowe's, Jan. 26 — $5 billion
  • Celgene, Feb. 14 — $5 billion
  • CSX, Feb. 12 — $3.5 billion
  • Phillips 66, Feb. 13 — $3.28 billion
  • Constellation Brands, Jan. 5 — $3 billion
  • Valero Energy, Jan. 24 — $2.5 billion
  • Sirius XM, Jan. 23 — $2 billion
  • Juniper Networks, Jan. 30 — $2 billion
  • Eastman Chemical, Feb. 6 — $2 billion
  • Liberty Global, Feb. 14 — $2 billion
  • IQVIA, Feb. 14 — $2 billion
  • Baxter International, Feb. 20 — $1.5 billion
  • Altria, Feb. 1 — $1 billion
  • Skyworks, Feb. 5 — $1 billion
  • O'Reilly Automotive, Feb. 7 — $1 billion
  • Cardinal Health, Feb. 8 — $1 billion
  • Lear Corp., Feb. 14 — $953.4 million
  • Noble Energy, Feb. 15 — $750 million
  • M&T Bank, Feb. 5 — $745 million
  • Harley-Davidson, Feb. 5 — $696 million
  • VeriSign, Feb. 8 — $586 million
  • Robert Half International, Feb. 13 — $546 million
  • Carlisle Companies, Feb. 6 — $543 million
  • Churchill Downs, Jan. 10 — $500 million
  • Visteon, Jan. 16 — $500 million
  • Western Digital, Jan. 29 — $500 million
  • PulteGroup, Jan. 30 — $500 million
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Jan. 31 — $500 million
  • ConocoPhillips, Feb. 1 — $500 million
  • Arconic, Feb. 5 — $500 million
  • Anadarko Petroleum, Feb. 7 — $500 million
  • Voya Financial, Feb. 13 — $500 million
  • Aaron's, Feb. 15 — $500 million

Go deeper

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.