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Tag - Dividend
Apple is once again turning to the debt markets to finance its stock buyback and dividend payout programs, a new filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed. The iPhone maker will issue a new, €2 billion Euro (roughly $2.26 billion US) debt offering in order to continue to take advantage of extremely low interest rates. Only two notes will be offered, at €1 billion each, which will mature between January 2024 and the fall of 2027. The company last offered a Euro-based debt sale late last year.
On Monday, Apple announced major increases in dividends, as well as an increase in both the share buyback program and total capital return to investors. Apple will expand its buyback program to $140 billion, an increase of $50 billion over the current program. Dividends will increase starting with fiscal Q2, rising to 52 cents per share from 47 cents per share -- and the company has reiterated that there will be more dividend increases annually.
Shareholders of record in AAPL as of November 6 will receive a dividend of 47 cents per share once again in the second dispersal of revenue since the stock was split 7-to-1 last June. The company will pay out some $2.75 billion in dividends on 5.866 billion outstanding shares -- about 800 million fewer shares than seen before the aggressive share buyback program started last year. The stock closed the week at an all-time record high of $108 per share for the second week running.
Tech analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has told investors in a new memo that he expects "moderate" increases in both Apple's share-buyback program and its dividend to shareholders, likely to be announced during the company's next earnings call, scheduled for April 23. This belief, he noted, is already "priced into" shares of AAPL and is unlikely to take price any higher in and of itself. The current quarterly dividend, raised last year, is $3.05 per common share.
The close of the market today, which saw Apple's stock rise $3.80 to close at $512.59, marked the beginning of the company's "ex-dividend" period, where no new trades of AAPL will be included in dividend calculations. Shareholders of record will receive $3.05 per share beginning Thursday, February 13, with the annual shareholders' meeting scheduled to take place two weeks later. The question of how Apple manages its enormous cash hoard has become something of a public spat between two large-volume investors, Carl Icahn and the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
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.
Microsoft has announced it will be raising its quarterly dividend, at the same time as starting a share buyback program. The scheme sees Microsoft authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases, with no expiration date set for the program, with the new buyback plan replacing an earlier $40 billion scheme that was set to expire at the end of this month.
Despite moves to buy back shares in itself and the creation of a dividend program, Apple adds money to its enormous cash reserve far faster than it can distribute it -- a problem many companies would like to have, but one that is actually quite thorny for Apple. Wall Street appears to be orchestrating an effort -- or acting on insider information -- to put pressure on the company to make some kind of announcement for a future, additional dispersal of cash to investors. Meanwhile, governments have increased their calls for the "repatriation" of foreign-held profits.
For most companies, a payout of $2.5 billion dollars (working out to $2.65 per share for each of its 935 million outstanding shares) would be manna from heaven, but for Apple the significant dividend being distributed today -- only the second such payment in the last 17 years -- doesn't even begin to match its ability to generate revenue or add to its cash stockpile. Over the course of fiscal 2013, the company will spend an additional $7.5 billion in dividends, but is likely to finish the year -- or indeed, this quarter -- with more than that amount added to its cash balance.
Consumer electronics retailer RadioShack reported an unexpected second-quarter loss and said it would stop paying stock dividends. In one day shares have fallen over 33 percent, and are trading at levels last seen in 1980. The stock is down 74 percent this year alone. The decision to suspend the dividend comes after the surprisingly weak earnings announcement coupled with an imminent debt maturity of $375 million due in 2013. Stopping the payment will save the company about $50 million per year.