updated 09:01 pm EST, Wed November 13, 2013
Nearly $3 billion 'returned' to shareholders in latest payout
If you held any AAPL stock as of last Wednesday, your account is going to get a little boost tomorrow. Apple will be paying $3.05 per share to "shareholders of record" as of November 6 in the latest quarterly dividend, which arrives tomorrow and totals nearly $3 billion, a 15 percent rise from the year-ago quarter. While the amount Apple has paid out has gone up over the last few quarters, the company has actually saved billions in stock buybacks.
Across 2013, Apple undertook an ambitious stock repurchasing program that retired some 46.4 million shares, saving the company $143 million in payouts this quarter alone. While the buyback program spent $21 billion in buying back the shares, the rise in the stock price since then means that Apple would have spent an additional $3.1 billion if it tried to buy the shares back now. Celebrity stock shark Carl Icahn has been pushing Apple to expand the buyback program further, without success thus far.
The company's current dividend yield is 2.35 percent, based on a share price of around $520. While the dividend reduces Apple's cash holdings, the company continues to add revenue faster than it can give it out, resulting in an increasing value while the buyback program makes the stock slightly more scarce and therefore more valuable. The slow but steady rise in AAPL's price since the dividend was increased would seem to support the idea that dividends plus buybacks, on top of the company's solid fundamentals, is increasing the value of holding AAPL for shareholders.