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Craig Jobbins, from Romford, celebrates getting one of the first new Apple iPads at the company's Covent Garden store on the release of the latest version of the tablet computer on Friday. Ian Nicholson/PA Wire/Press Association Images
At last

Apple will use cash for dividends and stock buyback

The best place to put Apple’s cash? Back into its shares, of course.

APPLE HAS REVEALED what it will use some of the cash that it has been piling up for – buying more of its own shares and a dividend payout.

The plans, announced by new CEO Tim Cook today, outlined the company’s use for $45 billion domestic cash over the next three years.

Fulfilling the long-time desires of investors, Cook said Apple will initiate a dividend and share repurchase programme later this year.

The company plans to pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share some time in the fourth quarter, which beings on 1 July this year.

The Board of Directors has also authorised a $10 billion share buyback programme to commence in the next fiscal year, beginning on 30 September.

It said the main reason for this is to “neutralise the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programmes”. That means staff can be rewarded with stock – rather than cash – without affecting the value of existing shares.

“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 Cook in a statement.

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.

CFO Peter Oppenheimer added, “We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead.”

It is understood that Apple has about $100 billion in cash stockpiled in the company – and, understandably, those who had bought stock wanted a piece of that pie.

According to the LA Times, Cook explained during a conference call that a quarterly dividend will provide income to shareholders and broaden the investor base by attracting new investors who do not currently own Apple stock.

He added that innovation remains the most important objective for the company.

Last Thursday, shares in the company hit a record $600 as investors looked forward to another successful product launch – this time of the third evolution of the iPad.

Trading today saw Apple shares rise to $599.25, up 2.34 per cent (as of 5.07pm).

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