Sorry, there’s no Steve Jobs cloning program or awesome philanthropic effort coming from Apple. But if you are an Apple shareholder, be happy: they just announced a $US45 billion plan for a new dividend and share repurchase program. They will also keep “making strategic investments”.
Apple is going to “initiate a quarterly dividend of $US2.65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1, 2012.” According to Tim Cook:
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.
They will also use $US10 billion in a share repurchase program starting in fiscal 2013, beginning on September 30, 2012. It is expected to be done in three years, “with the primary objective of neutralising the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programs”.