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AAPL Stock: 100.96 ( -0.83 )

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SEC: Apple bought back another $5 billion in stock in June quarter

updated 07:52 pm EDT, Fri July 25, 2014

Total of $28B spent in fiscal 2014, average price $85 per share

Regulatory filings with the SEC have revealed that Apple spent another $5 billion during the June quarter as part of its share-repurchase program to retire an additional 58 million shares of stock at an average (split-adjusted) price of $85.23 per share, still well below the current trading average, and about the same price per share as well CEO Tim Cook first announced the buyback plan just over two years ago. The recent expenditure is less aggressive than seen in quarters where the share price was lower, signalling reduced buyback activity.



Shortly after the initial announcement of repurchasing shares, AAPL took a tumble down to as low as $55 a share through much of 2013. This allowed the company to snap up stock at bargain prices, spending $26 billion on shares in calendar 2013, and an even more aggressive $23 billion in the first half of calendar 2014. Because Apple begins its fiscal year in October, the fiscal total for 2014 so far is $28 billion.

In part as a result of the moves, along with a 7-to-1 stock split accomplished last month and increased dividend payouts, the company's stock is now near its all-time high of around $100.73 (straight split-adjusted), closing today at $97.67. Because of the increase in shares as a result of the split but partially offset by the buyback program, AAPL would need to rise to $110 per share to truly beat its historical all-time high price, but $100.73 is still seen by most as the mark to beat. Most analysts believe the lower of the two benchmarks will happen this year, with a few investment banks and other financial institutions predicting that even the higher benchmark will be met or surpassed by year's end or shortly thereafter, based on an easy expectation of record demand for new and refreshed Apple products.



The company has proven to be incredibly savvy about repurchases. After record Q1 earnings that nonetheless managed to slightly miss analysts' expectations, AAPL plunged more than eight percent, which prompted the company to spend a record-breaking $14 billion in just a two-week period in late January. Since then, share prices have appreciated almost 25 percent. On average, Apple has bought shares at between 66 percent and 75 percent of the current value of the stock.

In total, Apple has spent some $51 billion on share buybacks and $21 billion in shareholder dividends over the past two years. Despite the enormous expenditures, Apple has continued to grow its cash hoard from $121 billion two years ago to $164 billion now, though an increasing percentage of that money is foreign earnings.

As a result, Apple has entered the commercial paper market for the first time in the recent quarter, and also arranged a $31 billion debt offering which, as the company itself noted, carries an interest rate far lower than it would cost the company in US taxes to "repatriate" the offshore cash pile. Apple also saves money by retiring shares of stock, for which it does not have to pay ongoing dividends. All buyback and dividend funds are currently paid for with domestic earnings and debt.



Currently, Apple now has just under six billion shares outstanding, but has another $39 billion earmarked for future repurchases, as first noted by AppleInsider. Depending on how the company feels the stock is valued presently, it may slow down on repurchases until such time as the stock dips in price again. However, if the board feels (with knowledge of future products and how well they are likely to do) that the stock remains undervalued, it may continue its spending spree. The current buyback program is in force until the end of calendar 2015.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-03-99

    what a waste of money.. I can't believe it... they could do such useful thing with that money, or even give it to charity.. yet they waste it completely...

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    How exactly do you perceive this to be "a waste of money?"

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Indeed. Buying back independence from investors and stockholders vs. investing 5 billion into charities? How are these related? (Quite apart from the fact that Apple is fairly active in charity donations.)

  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-03-99

    because it doesn't accomplish anything.. it's just dumping money in a fire pit.. what good does it do to apple to buy back shares? nothing. And people would just have sold their shares to other people. Unless they buy all the shares and become private, it serves nothing but to please a small bunch of investors who never gave a damn about the company when it mattered...

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    And you think that buying back all the shares and going private is not in the cards?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a stock buyback a "**** you" to investors? A way of saying "we don't like the kind of pressure you're putting on us, so we're increasingly taking power back into our own hands"?

  1. Cold Warrior

    Moderator

    Joined: 01-01-01

    In Apple's case they retire the shares after buying them back, which over the long term should raise share prices and dividends per share.

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-14-11

    A company doesn't own the shares of stock that are out there, so why should it care what the price is (absent a complete collapse)? This kind of move is usually done because the execs at the company have options, which benefit from higher prices.

  1. Cold Warrior

    Moderator

    Joined: 01-01-01

    Because it has investors who are a mix of regular folks and institutions. Companies get into trouble if they manage for short term stock pricing, but share increases over the long haul are net positive for everyone. The buy backs are probably lifting prices short term anyway, which is likely a concession to Wall Street, along with the big debt issuance Apple did to repurchase the shares. It's too bad if the deals were hush money to Street tycoons, but Apple does have a ton of cash and returning some to investors isn't so bad.

  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-03-99

    are they really buying all the shares back? I doubt it's possible. I think they're just complying with some investors (and that asshole Icanh) request...

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 09-06-01

    there is some weapons-grade stupid in this comments thread. Y'all just keep your money in the bank that pays 0.01% interest or buy CDs and let the adults worry about the world of investing, OK? If you really want to see something cringeworthy, go look at AMZN. Even after taking a 10% dump the other day, it's still trading at a P/E of 500+ and no sign of profits in sight.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Spheric and climacs are spot-on. I can see that some people just don't understand what stocks are or why a company would want to buy back its stock. I don't believe Apple is attempting to go private -- quite the opposite. Apple is working the market to its advantage, strengthening the company and rewarding long-term investors or short-term speculators.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Part of the reason for the multiple buy-backs is the recent stock split as well (remember, it was 7-to-1, meaning there were 7 times more available shares that represented Apple than there were before the split).

    climacs and chas_m are right -- this thread is rife with people with no knowledge or mere cursory knowledge of publicly-traded companies and what various stock trading activities mean or do for a company.

    If you hold Apple stock, then you are 100% for this buy-back; otherwise, you haven't the foggiest clue about what you're talking about.

    The notion that Apple would buy back all stock and go private is asinine. But if you wanna discuss that possibility, we can schedule that talk right after the moon-landing-deniers' meeting on Wednesday. But we need to do it before the Friday 9/11 truthers meeting, because the weekend is booked with the annual Sasquatch hunters' expedition.

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    Diablo, sorry I can't be there. My birthers' group will be out looking for Obama's real birth certificate.

  1. chefpastry

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-14-05

    Originally Posted by FireWireView Post

    what a waste of money.. I can't believe it... they could do such useful thing with that money, or even give it to charity.. yet they waste it completely...



    Yes, investors love it when the companies they invest in give the profits to charity.

    Originally Posted by climacsView Post

    there is some weapons-grade stupid in this comments thread.



    +1

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