There's no question that stock buybacks boost earnings and bolster return on equity, but with bank stocks at all time highs, some are starting to wonder if these programs really make sense.

"I don't think that many companies pay close attention to the economics of what they're doing," said Charles N. Cranmer, director of equity research at M.A. Schapiro & Co., New York, "Although buybacks are accretive to earnings, the higher the stock price goes, the less bang you get for your buck."

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