Apple is finally using its $98 billion cash hoard to reward shareholders, saying it's instituting both a dividend and share buyback program.
The company today announced plans to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program commencing later this year.
Subject to declaration by the board of directors, the company plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1, 2012.
Additionally, Apple's board of directors has authorized a $10 billion share repurchase program commencing in the company's fiscal 2013, which begins on September 30, 2012. The repurchase program is expected to be executed over three years, with the primary objective of neutralizing the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programs.
"We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You'll see more of all of these in the future," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program."
"Combining dividends, share repurchases, and cash used to net-share-settle vesting RSUs, we anticipate utilizing approximately $45 billion of"domestic cash in the first three years of our programs,? said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead."
Apple will provide live streaming of a conference call to discuss its plans beginning at 6:00 a.m. PDT on Monday, March 19, 2012 at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/call31912. Apple added that it would not be providing an update on the current quarter nor will any topics be discussed other than cash.
Accused of Piracy
Staying with Apple, Chinese writers accuse Apple's online store of selling pirated copies of their books is seeking $US8 million in compensation from the US firm, Chinese state media reported.
The group has filed the 50 million yuan claim against Apple on behalf of 22 writers including famed author Han Han, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The group alleges the US giant's App Store has been selling unlicensed copies of some 95 books. According to Xinhua, the writers claim that Apple was too slow in removing the allegedly pirated content when it was notified about the problem.
Apple announced earlier this month that downloads from its App store had hit 25 billion.