Apple to return $2.8 billion to shareholders in February

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By Larry Banks

On the 12th of February, Apple is expected to pay shareholders its quarterly dividend of $0.47 for each share held, however investors need to purchase shared by February 9th to qualify.

Since 2012, Apple has paid shareholders a dividend approximately 6 weeks after the end of each fiscal quarter since it declared its modern dividend plan in 2012.

The February payout will be the third since the company issued its 7 for 1 stock split, which converted the dividend from $3.29 for each share to 47 cents per share.

After the stock split, Apple has repurchased $17 billion of its stock in the September quarter and $5 billion more in market purchases in the December quarter, which means it now has 5.8 billion shares outstanding.

Since 2014, Apple’s shares have risen by 48.28%, in contrast with Google’s fall by 5.25% (in class C shares, and 4.73% in class A shares), and Microsoft rising by 11.56%.

Even since the start of this year fuelled by Apple’s blowout last quarter, the company’s shares are up by 7.49%, compared to Microsoft’s loss of just over 10% and Google’s half a percentage point gain in both class A and C shares.

Apple Capital Return

Apple’s dividends and buybacks

Apple’s buybacks increase the value of the company’s stock by basically taking shares off the market and “retiring” them. It also means that the company’s earnings per share improves. In the last year, Apple has already repurchased $45 billion of its own stock, from the stock market or its repurchase programs.

But Apple’s share repurchase has reduced the total dividend that the company pays, and even though they report around $2.8 billion in dividend payments for FQ1, at the $0.47 per share figure, the 5.8 billion shares that are outstanding appear to total $2.73 billion, a reduction of $70 million over the previous quarter’s dividends.

“The Company also plans to increase its dividend on an annual basis, subject to declaration by the Board of Directors”, says Apple in its 10-K filing. The company has already paid out $11 billion in dividends to shareholders, with about $2.8 billion being paid out every quarter.

In total now, Apple has spent $72.9 billion on buybacks since it started the capital return program, as well as a $14 billion share grab after the stock fell 8% last January – when the Q1 financials reported its highest every revenues and profits at the time (noted as “disappointing” by the media, somewhat perversely).

Today, combining dividend payments and net share settlements Apple has spent more than $102 billion on capital return since the middle of 2012, but still has an incredible $178 billion in cash.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos