Slighlty better idea than Dividends however...
Share buybacks assume EPS (driven up by fewer shares outstanding after a buy-back) is the major driver to EDV's price right now. I happen to think its all about the temporary lack of interest in gold and gold miners. Management could do a naked dance, in broad daylight, in a crowded square, and still not get noticed in this environment. The Fed is busy attempting to blow another bubble in the stock market with more easing. The hot money is being driven into stocks in general (away from the preserve capital crowd that was attracted to gold).
Secondly, EDV has a better use for cash in the short-term - until things really get going.
The good news for gold-bugs is that we are in a false economy that is about to be exposed sometime in 2013. Recession coming (though probably shallow). Negative GDP print yesterday is but one of the first signs. As the economy has not fully recovered since the last Recession (2009) - the market will not take it well. It will be spooked and a Correction will ensue. Enter in - a new round of stimulus (hence the shallow call). Like in 2009 Gold and gold miners will be the first to pop and by the greatest amount (5 and 10 baggers will abound like in 2009/10).
The really good news comes a few years later when the US bond market implodes as a result of the US over-indebtedness (too much stimulus for far too long). Once the bond market realizes there will be a pending default, or currency devaluation (the only way out for the US) - it's somewhere between a very long and painful economic recovery period, and armaggeddon. The rush out of Bonds, however, will mean very sunny days for gold holders :)
GL and patience.