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What to Do With $100B Cash? Apple Likely to Say Today

Analysts suspect Apple might announce dividend program this morning
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2012 3:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Facing increasing investor pressure over its incredible $100 billion pile of cash, could Apple finally be ready to issue some dividends? No one knows for sure. But Apple has announced a conference call this morning, before the markets open, to talk about "the outcome of the company’s discussions concerning its cash balance." Apple has admitted that not even the world's biggest company really needs $100 billion lying around (since it earns less than 1% interest, investors consider it wasteful). So, what to do?

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Only about a third of that $100 billion is in the US, and if Apple brought the rest back to America it would owe 30% of it in taxes. Still, the company has a lot of choices, from paying a one-time dividend to buying back stock to making a giant purchase. But the most likely option, according to Forbes, is that Apple will announce a regular dividend policy. A conservative 2.5% yield would cost the company "just" $13.65 billion a year, and would attract a new type of investor—institutional investors that only buy dividend-paying stocks. (Read more Apple stories.)

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