Apple to Pay First Dividend Since 1995

Company authorizes buyback as well, will plow through $45B
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2012 7:56 AM CDT
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, California.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Apple shareholders ought to be even happier with the company than usual this morning, as the gadgets giant announced plans to spend $45 billion of its $97 billion in cash reserves on a buyback and a dividend program. Of that, $10 billion will go to a buyback authorization—though Business Insider cautions that Apple has merely given itself the option to buy back shares, not actually committed to doing so. The rest of the money will go to a $2.65-per-share quarterly dividend, which will start in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins July 1. It's the first dividend Apple has offered since 1995, notes CNN.

CEO Tim Cook promised that the plan wouldn't hurt Apple's investments in research and development, retail stores, and other companies. "Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business," he said in a statement. On a conference call, Cook added that the moves would bring in new investors who only buy dividend-yielding stocks, according to Bloomberg.

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