Next Thursday the 16th, Apple will pay shareholders a quarterly dividend of $0.57 per share held.
To qualify you must be a holder of APPL today. Total payout will be $3.1 billion. This payout will be the fourth 57 cent dividend Apple has paid since it announced plans to increase its dividend from 52 cents during its Q2 2016 earnings conference call.
Over the past four quarters, Apple has paid out around $12 billion in dividends to its shareholders, distributing close to $3 billion every quarter, although that number has decreased slightly in tandem with the company’s stock buybacks. Stock repurchase schemes increase the scarcity, and therefore value, of a companies stock by taking shares off the market. Removing shares from circulation also enhances the company’s closely-watched earnings per share, or EPS metrics. Over the last four quarters, Apple has repurchased $34 billion worth of its stock off the market or via accelerated repurchase programs, with $11 billion of that spent in the most recent quarter ending in December. Over the last 4 years the number of Apple shares outstanding has reduced from 6.5 Billion to 5.25 Billion.
The company’s post-split buybacks include $17 billion of its own stock in the September 2014 quarter; $5 billion of stock in open market purchases during its December 2014 quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q1 2015); another $7 billion of stock in open market purchases during its March quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q2 2015); another $4 billion of stock in open market purchases and $6 billion in Accelerated Share Repurchase in the June quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q3 2015); followed by an astounding $14 billion of stock in open market purchases in the September quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q4 2015) and $11 billion in the most recent December quarter.
Even with the constant stock purchases Apple is using its domestic U.S. cash flow to finance stock buybacks and dividend payments, and is also issuing bonds at extremely low-interest rates to help pay for its capital return programs.
Apple currently holds $230 billion of its total $246 billion in cash reserves overseas; spending those funds domestically would incur a substantial tax penalty unless the new U.S. Congress and Trump approves a tax break to enable and incentivize American firms to invest their foreign earnings in America.
You have a few hours left to purchase APPL to be entitled to this dividend.