Apple Cash Balance Call : March 19, 2012
Apple discusses what it will do with its $97.6 billion cash balance.
 
8:49 - Apple has already given its main plans: a $2.65 per share quarterly dividend starting July 1, and $10 billion in stock buybacks over three years starting from its fiscal 2013 (September 30, 2012). We're listening in to get more details.
 
9:01 - Beginning now. Nancy Paxton, investor relations up first with safe harbor warnings. No business updates or other topics.
 
9:03 - Cook up: "significant opportunities ahead of us." Recapping 37m iPhone sales; just 9% of handsets in the quarter. Expected to grow dramatically. World market from 1.6 billion in 2011 to 2 billion by 2015. Potential for iPhones is enormous.
 
9:03 - 55m iPads from launch to the last quarter. "Just keeps getting better." Gartner expects 325m tablets by 2015. Tablets will eventually surpass the PC market; it's just a matter of when.
 
9:04 - Mac has outperformed the market for 23 quarters, and yet has less than 6% share.
 
9:05 - iCloud is at over 100m users [nothing new]. Also recapping Siri. Expanding carriers, distribution, enterprise sales. "We don't see a ceiling" to our growth.
 
9:05 - You'll see more of these investments in the future, but we will have "plenty" after the dividend. "These decisions will not close any doors for us," he says.
 
9:06 - The dividend is broadening Apple's investor base by attracting those who don't currently own Apple stock.
 
9:07 - Recaps the stock buyback plan; minimizing dilution. Doing what we believe is in the best interests of Apple and shareholders.
 
9:08 - Oppenheimer: fiscal year 2011 saw $31 billion, another $16 billion in first quarter of fiscal 2012. Want to keep flexibility for "investment opportunities." Increase the attractiveness of Apple shares, and minimize the dilution from employment equity programs.
 
9:09 - Will establish payment dates with the July 1 quarter. At Tim's request, he won't participate in the dividend program.
 
9:10 - Cash used to repurchase shares to consume $4b in first fiscal year. Combining all factors, Apple plans to use $45b of domestic cash. Closing: "very confident" about future, "extremely enthusiastic" about opportunities.
 
9:11 - Q&A. Barclays' Ben Reitzes: philosophy on dividend growth? Is that factored in? We'll review our dividends periodically. $2.65 will be attractive to current and prospective shareholders. Over $2.5 billion per quarter. Would be one of the highest dividend payers in the US.
 
9:12 - Don't want to incur the tax to repatriate cash at this time.
 
9:13 - Tim Cook: "we love to announce products, just not during conference calls." We grew 73% last quarter. "Extremely confident in our future."
 
9:15 - Repatriating cash would involve "significant tax consequences" under current US law. Apple has expressed its views to the government, saying there's currently a "disincentive" to bring cash back.
 
9:17 - Stock splits? Something Apple has looked at. The current information we have would suggest that there's very little support [for the idea] that it helps the stock. We're at a unique point in time, however, and if we think it would be in our best interests, we would do it.
 
9:17 - Oppenheimer: very confident about our products in the pipeline. We'll invest in a disciplined manner. Make changes to our program that are in the best interests of Apple and shareholders.
 
9:20 - Methodology? Oppenheimer says it's "very significant." Hybrid approach is both from thinking and from listening to shareholders. Most emphasis is behind the dividend, since that's where the most cash goes. The stock buyback helps minimize dilution of the employee program. Also paying taxes and allowing for US opportunities. [mostly reiterating earlier statements]
 
9:22 - With tax costs, focused on domestic cash. Our focus will always be to "make the most innovative products in the world." Wanted to allow for a war chest for opportunities in the future; after we factored that in, we found that we had cash left over.
 
9:23 - Will keep evaluating how much we need to into dividends, share buybacks, and investments. 17.7 million RSUs that hadn't vested yet in the last quarter.
 
9:23 - Call wraps up; the narrow focus has made it much shorter than usual Q&A.
 
Previous Live Event Coverage:

WWDC 2014, June 02, 2014
Apple fiscal Q4 conference call, October 28, 2013
Apple's October 22 media event, October 22, 2013
Apple's September 10 event, September 09, 2013
Samsung Unpacked at IFA, September 04, 2013
Samsung Unpacked 2013 Episode 2, September 04, 2013
Apple fiscal Q3 2013 , July 23, 2013
WWDC 2013 Keynote, June 10, 2013
Apple fiscal Q2 2013 earnings call, April 23, 2013
Apple iPad mini unveiling, October 23, 2012
Apple iPhone 5 launch event, September 12, 2012
Apple Financial Conference Call Q3 2012, July 24, 2012
Live 2012 WWDC Coverage, June 11, 2012
Apple fiscal Q2 2012 results call, April 24, 2012
Apple cash balance call, March 19, 2012
Apple's iPad 3 Event, March 07, 2012
Apple fiscal Q1 2012 results call, January 24, 2012
Apple FYQ4 Quarterly Results, October 18, 2011
Apple - Let's Talk iPhone, October 04, 2011
Apple July Conference Call, July 19, 2011
Live WWDC 2011 Event Coverage, June 06, 2011
Google I/O 2011 day one keynote, May 10, 2011
Apple fiscal Q2 2011 results call, April 20, 2011
March 2 iPad event, March 02, 2011
Intel Thunderbolt Technology, February 24, 2011
HP webOS event, February 09, 2011
Google Android event, February 02, 2011
Apple January January 2011 fiscal results call, January 18, 2011
Verizon NYC Event, January 11, 2011
Google Chrome Event, December 07, 2010
Acer's Interact event, November 23, 2010
Back to the Mac, October 20, 2010
Apple's FYQ4 2010 results, October 18, 2010
Google TV Intro, October 12, 2010
Apple Sept 1 music event, September 01, 2010
BlackBerry August 3 Event, August 03, 2010
Apple iPhone 4 Press Conference, July 16, 2010
Sony E3 Keynote, June 15, 2010
Nintendo E3 Keynote, June 15, 2010
Microsoft E3 Keynote, June 14, 2010
WWDC 2010, June 07, 2010
D8 conference 2010, June 01, 2010
Google I/O Keynote II, May 09, 2010
Google I/O Keynote, May 19, 2010
Apple earnings - 2010, April 20, 2010
iPhone OS 4.0, April 08, 2010

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