Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Common Stock Repurchases

Common Stock Repurchases
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2011
Common Stock Repurchases [Abstract]  
Common Stock Repurchases [Text Block]

Note 25: Common Stock Repurchases


Common Stock Repurchase Program


We have an ongoing authorization, since October 2005, as amended, from our Board of Directors to repurchase up to $45 billion in shares of our common stock in open market or negotiated transactions. This amount includes $20 billion of increases in the authorization limit approved by our Board of Directors in 2011. As of December 31, 2011, $10.1 billion remained available for repurchase under the existing repurchase authorization limit. During 2011, we repurchased 642.3 million shares of common stock at a cost of $14.1 billion. During 2010, we repurchased 70.3 million shares of common stock at a cost of $1.5 billion. We utilized the majority of the proceeds from the issuance of the 2009 debentures to repurchase 88.2 million shares at a cost of $1.7 billion during 2009 (for further information on the issuance of the 2009 debentures, see “Note 21: Borrowings”). We have repurchased 4.1 billion shares at a cost of $84 billion since the program began in 1990.


Restricted Stock Unit Withholdings


We issue restricted stock units as part of our equity incentive plans. For the majority of restricted stock units granted, the number of shares issued on the date the restricted stock units vest is net of the minimum statutory withholding requirements that we pay in cash to the appropriate taxing authorities on behalf of our employees. During 2011, we withheld 10.3 million shares (10.1 million shares during 2010 and 5.8 million shares during 2009) to satisfy $207 million ($236 million during 2010 and $92 million during 2009) of employees' tax obligations. Although shares withheld are not issued, they are treated as common stock repurchases in our consolidated financial statements, as they reduce the number of shares that would have been issued upon vesting.