The U.S. banking industry embraced stock buybacks with enormous vigor in 1994 and experts are predicting a further avalanche of repurchases in 1995.

Last year alone, the top 50 U.S. banking companies retired 124.2 million shares at a cost of $5.6 billion, according to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. And numerous banks have announced buyback programs this year.

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