Apple spends $45bn on dividends and share buy-back

Apple has said it will spend $45 billion of its $100 billion cash mountain paying dividends to shareholders and buying back $10 billion worth of shares.

Subject to confirmation by the board of directors, the company said it would start to pay out a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its financial year for 2012, which begins on 1 July, 2012. It’s the first time since 1995 that Apple has paid shareholders a dividend.

Apple’s shares recently topped the $600 threshold, so an annual return of $10.60 would represent less than 1.8% on the value of the shares.

Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business

In addition to the dividends, Apple also said it would be spending $10 billion buying back shares in the company over the next three years.

“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.”

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