Today is the day for Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors - the day where those who have been buying into the company and its stock will get a piece of the company's massive cash chest in the form of a dividend. Today, Cupertino will be handing out its first dividend in 17 years as part of a $45 billion dividend program that was announced earlier this year.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced earlier it would be giving out $2.65 per share for each of the more than 930 million outstanding shares of stock, which amounts to a distribution of about $2.5 billion. This amount is one of the largest quarterly dividends handed out by any company. The company said it was initiating an overall $45 billion program over three years, with dividends distributed every quarter. By comparison, Apple reported that it had more than $120 billion in cash as of the end of October, and reported that it took in more than $11 billion in cash the last two quarters combined.
The last time Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) handed out a dividend was back in 1995. in addition to the dividends, the company also announced it would buy back about $10 billion in shares over the next couple of years as well, again as a step to spend some of its cash supply, which remains robust and seems to grow every quarter.
When announcing the dividend and buyback program this past spring, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company has "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. Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business."
As an example of how much the dividends adds up can be seen by using the portfolio of billionaire David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital. As of June 30, he held about 1.45 million shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which means he would have received a dividend payment of $3.85 million. Let us know - are you in on the dividend madness? What are you doing with your dividend?