Apple has announced it will spend its cash surplus on paying shareholders a quarterly dividend, as well as a $10bn share buyback programme.
The manufacturer announced this morning that it will launch the dividend payment of $2.65 per share from the beginning of its fourth quarter, which starts on 1 July 2012.
The share repurchase programme will begin in its next financial year, which starts in October 2012. Apple said it is launching the programme, which is expected to last three years, to neutralise the impact of giving equity grants to future employees, as well as staff buying stock themselves.
Apple has amassed $97.6bn of cash and securities but it has refused to pay a dividend since late 1995. The death for former Apple CEO Steve Jobs earlier this year sparked speculation the manufacturer may reverse this decision. Apple CEO Tim Cook [pictured] said: '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.
'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.'
Chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer added the company expects to spend $45bn on the programmes during the next three years. He said: 'We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead.'
Editor: Graeme Neill