What to do with nearly $100 billion–it’s a nice problem to have. And while most of us would be well into phase 3 of building the world’s first space jet/submarine hybrid (ok, maybe that’s just me), Apple’s plan is a bit more sensible…and lucrative to shareholders. Apple has always said it would “consider” offering dividends when the timing was right–and it looks like all the stars have finally aligned, as The Cupertino-based tech giant will begin rolling out a $2.65-per-share dividend starting Q4 of fiscal 2012, as well as a board-approved share repurchase program that begins in 2013. Here’s what Apple had to say:
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, the Company’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.”