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Monday, March 19, 2012, 05:36 am PT (08:36 am ET)

Apple to spend $45B over 3 years on dividend & share repurchase program

Later this year, Apple will initiate a dividend and share repurchase program, spending $45 billion over the next three years, the company announced on Monday.

Apple's new quarterly dividend will amount to $2.65 per share. Assuming it is approved by the company's board of directors, it will be initiated at some point in the company's fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1 of this year.

The dividend will be joined by a $10 billion share repurchase program that will start with Apple's fiscal 2013. The share repurchase program has already been authorized by the company's board of directors.

Apple plans to repurchase shares over three years, with the primary objective to neutralize the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employe 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," Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said. "You'll see more of all of these in the future. 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."

More details on the new initiatives will be discussed during a conference call that Cook and Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer will participate in at 9 a.m. Eastern, 6 a.m. Pacific Monday morning. The company will not, however, provide any updates on its current quarter, and no topics other than cash will be discussed.

"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," Oppenheimer said. "We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead."