In equities the traditional way of looking at yield was the dividend yield. As buybacks have increased due to its tax effectiveness for a multinational company the dividend yield has been replaced by what is called the shareholder yield, which is essentially the capital returned to shareholders. This yield has three components: dividends, buybacks and debt reduction. The reason why debt reduction is part of the equation is that is a financing activity that could have been used to buy back shares or pay out as dividends – in the case the company is not forced to pay down debt. For financials the changes in debt on the balance sheet is excluded.
Based on current numbers the three sectors with the highest shareholder yield are financials, materials and consumer staples and the sectors offering the lowest shareholder yield are health care, real estate and utilities.