ACTION ALERT: Lockheed’s Enormous Stock Buybacks Underwritten by US Taxpayers

February 6th, 2023 - by Eli Clifton / The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft & Win Without War

Lockheed Claims Stock Buybacks and Dividends at the Expense of US Taxpayers

Eli Clifton / The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft 

(January 29, 2023) — The federal government and US taxpayers are effectively underwriting massive returns for Lockheed Martin shareholders, returns so impressive that the weapons firm’s CEO, James Taiclet, boasted about how the company handed $11 billion over to shareholders in 2022 via share repurchases and dividend payments, creating “significant value for our shareholders.”

Taiclet, speaking on a January 24 earnings call, said that Lockheed, the world’s largest weapons firm, was “ending the year with a total shareholder return of 40 percent.”

Lockheed may be a for-profit, publicly traded, company but those stock buybacks, dividends and appreciated stock value are largely underwritten by US taxpayers. The company’s 2021 annual report acknowledged that, “…71% of our $67.0 billion in net sales were from the US Government.”

Weapons companies often boast about the jobs they create and how their products are vital tools for US national security. But in this case Lockheed is effectively acknowledging that billions of dollars of profit, overwhelmingly driven by US government contracts, are being handed over to investors.

In other words, $7.8 billion of the $11 billion transferred to shareholders in 2022 was effectively funded by the US government and Americans who thought their tax dollars went to providing public services and keeping the country safe.

Congrats! You’re Underwriting
Lockheed’s Stock Buybacks! 

Win Withouot War

(Februar 4, 2023) — Did you know you gave Lockheed Martin investors a cash gift?

Here’s the rundown: On a January 24 earnings call, Lockheed CEO James Taiclet boasted that $11 BILLION was funneled to investors in 2022. The catch? 71% of Lockheed’s net sales last year came from the US government.[1]

That means $7.8 BILLION of Lockheed’s stock buybacks, dividends and appreciated stock value was funded by YOU. A bigger problem? It could happen again. Right now, despite families across the country struggling to pay for gas, food, and rent, the GOP-majority in the House seems dead set on continuing a broken status quo where the weapons industry makes out big and people get left behind.

But it’s far from a done deal. Win Without War is laser-focused on getting our priorities back in order to put the people first — and we’re not alone. Across the House and the Senate, our champions are already setting the stage to fight over the Pentagon’s sky high budget and END the weapons contractor handouts.

Some argue that the TRILLIONS of dollars the weapons industry has made in the past two decades are for building weapons and systems crucial to national security.

But, This isn’t thatLockheed, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and the like are able to pay their investors TENS OF BILLIONS every year because, right now, US taxpayers cover the costs. Not for what it costs to make the weapons — for what they skim off the top to make themselves richer.

Let’s not forget, those TRILLIONS weren’t funding a cure for cancer, combatting the climate crisis, or solving homelessness. No, that money has built and bought deadly weapons that kill hundreds of thousands of people and drive instability and insecurity across the globe.

Weapons makers profit when our priorities are eclipsed by war — and they’re going to fight tooth and nail to keep the death dollars flowing.That’s why, if we want a fighting chance at changing course we need to go even harder.

The good news? We’ve already gotten started. In the past few weeks alone, our team mobilized over 55,160 activists to call on Congress to fund social programs and cut the Pentagon budget.

Right now, champions on the Hill are gearing up to introduce a slate of legislation that could set a new course when it comes to spending on weapons and war. THIS is a moment we can upend the status quo — and we’ve got to SEIZE it. Are you in?

t’s high time that we stop paying the war profiteers dividends, and start spending on the things that will improve peoples’ lives.

Thank you for working for peace,
Faith, Sam, Sara, and the Win Without War team