The payout in November this year will be the fourteenth dividend since the company implemented a stock split of seven shares. That split resulted in a pay-as-you-go per share drop from $ 3.29 to 47 cents, followed by a pay-per-share increase of 52 cents, to 57 cents, and finally to 63 cents per share.
In the past four quarters, Apple has distributed dividends to shareholders of about 128 billion US dollars, apportioned to 3 billion US dollars each quarter. In the meantime, the company is still buying back company stock.
Dividend payout is just a small part of Apple's shareholder return on capital account and most of the plan's measures are to keep repurchasing the company's outstanding shares.
Repurchase has increased scarcity, with the value of Apple shares rising due to the scarcity in the market. The repurchase of company shares from the circulation market will also raise the earnings per share target for which Apple is closely watched. In the past four quarters, Apple has repurchased $ 53 billion worth of corporate shares from the market or through an accelerated buyback plan. As of December quarter alone, Apple's share repurchase spending will reach 7.5 billion US dollars.
Since launching its return on capital account, Apple has spent a total of 166 billion U.S. dollars on stock repurchases. Including the company's share price after the stock fell 8% in January 2015 after the repurchase of 14 billion US dollars in corporate shares, the share price of Apple fell because of the company's fiscal first quarter results that caused media concerns.
along withiPhone7,MacBookPros, Apple Watch Series 2 and AirPods and other new products, Apple's strong quarterly results in December last year, which pushed the company's share price soared this year.
Since the mid-2012 merger of dividends to shareholders and share repurchases, Apple's return on capital has reached 233.9 billion U.S. dollars.
Apple stock repurchase history and stock appreciation
Apple's return on capital plan has been harshly criticized by some authorities, including Fortune columnist Shawn Tully. The columnist called "wisdom" of the return on capital program "seemingly misleading" last year in an article entitled "Apple Wasted Billions of Dollars on Buyback."
Talley also reported with excitement that Google's parent Alphabet "surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company," although that lasts only for a short time.
In fact, the market value of apples has now reached 873.6 billion U.S. dollars, while Alphabet is 711.3 billion U.S. dollars, a difference of 162.3 billion U.S. dollars. However, the market capitalization of Alphabet is higher than IBM, which is 138.8 billion U.S. dollars.
However, Apple Price / Earnings only 19.33, while Google up 36.93. If investors think Apple's potential is the same as that of Google, the iPhone maker will have a market capitalization of nearly 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars instead of 874 billion U.S. dollars.
As Apple's stock appreciated more than Google, the "wisdom" of its share buyback program also appeared to have led to the most successful buy-back program ever implemented.
Before the spin-off of the shares in 2014, Apple repurchased about $ 50 billion in shares of the company for $ 50 to $ 90 a share. Since that spin-off, Apple's share buyback has been priced at $ 100 to $ 130 a share, sometimes higher than its current share price. Apple expects its stock price will further recover and rise to higher prices.
Apple's stock price is indeed rising, to close at 170.15 U.S. dollars this Friday. Since launching its return on capital account, Apple has spent a total of 166 billion U.S. dollars in repurchase, reducing about 1.4 billion outstanding shares. The 1.4 billion shares of Apple today have a market capitalization of about 238 billion U.S. dollars, more than the 72 billion U.S. dollars they spent on repurchasing this share, while Apple has paid only 60.7 billion U.S. dollars to shareholders since 2012.
As of October 20, 2017, Apple's outstanding shares were 134 billion shares.
In addition to buying back shares of Apple still hold a lot of cash
Apple is currently using its domestic cash flow to finance the repurchase of corporate shares and the distribution of dividends to shareholders, as well as the issue of bonds at very low rates to cover its planned return on capital.
Apple currently holds a total of 269 billion U.S. dollars in cash, of which 252 billion U.S. dollars is in cash. Spending these overseas reserves in the United States will generate large tax fines unless the U.S. Congress approves a tax cut to encourage U.S. companies to invest in the United States.
Investors generally think it is bad for a company to accumulate cash because the returns from conservative investments are low, but Apple can not now distribute more cash to its shareholders because it can not avoid huge tax penalties.
This made Apple's massive cash holdings a thorny issue as it allowed the company to continue its tremendous market power to trade accessories and implement strategic investments in acquisitions, expansion of retail networks and productivity gains while Interest rates domestically invested and rewarded to shareholders are almost zero.
Apple currently owns a total of 116 billion U.S. dollars in debt, including about 12 billion U.S. dollars in uncollected loans on the commercial paper market. Subtracted from cash holdings, Apple generated a total of 153 billion U.S. dollars in liquid assets, with a free-cash flow of $ 10 billion a quarter.
Last year, Apple reported that it expects to invest $ 15 billion in fiscal year 2016 for infrastructure, tools, retail and other capital expenditures. The current year, Apple is expected to spend 16 billion US dollars.
Earlier this week, Horace Dediu, founder of research firm Asymco and a well-known mobile industry analyst, tweeted that Apple's capital spending will be a reliable predictor of the company's earnings for the year ahead.
Apple global large-scale investment?
In addition to its brand new new "apple orchard" campus in Cupertino, the company reportedly rented a huge AC3 Sunnyvale campus by a third. In addition, the company is still operating a chip fab in San Jose, California, which has some unknown, very secretive technology. Not far from San Jose Airport, Apple may build another 4 million square feet of office space.
Apple also leased one million square feet of office space at the Broadway Trade Center in Los Angeles, California, and operates a site considered GPU design hub near Melbourne, Florida, and also in Arizona Mesa has set up a 1.3-million-square-foot iCloud data center for about $ 2 billion. The center leads the four and each of them located in Maiden, North Carolina, Reno, Nevada, Prineville, Oregon and Newark, California, respectively Billions of U.S. businesses in the iCloud data center.
In addition, Apple has opened new software development centers in Brazil, Italy and India, including the Design and Development Accelerator at Hyderabad Technology Center in India and Bengaluru, India.
The company also has a number of other R & D centers set up, including Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing, China, three silicon-related R & D sites in Israel at Herzlia, Ra'anana and Hafia, technology development in Tsunashima, Center for health and materials related research and development institutions, a highly confidential product laboratory in Longtan, Taiwan, the Siri Phonetic Research Laboratory in Cambridge, England, the Car Research Center at the Kanata Research Park in Ottawa, Canada, Camera Optical Research and Development Center in Grenoble. In addition, Apple's new R & D center in Shenzhen, China, has started operations.
In May last year, Apple announced a $ 1 billion investment in a drip travel service for Chinese taxi service companies, a move that led to dribbling competitor Uber ending its rivaling efforts in the China market.
Last year, Apple also issued $ 441.5 million of "green bonds" to finance new projects related to environmental sustainability. It also invested $ 1 billion to set up an advanced manufacturing fund to fund the Softbank Vision Fund for Technology Investment Fund SoftBank Vision Fund donated 1 billion U.S. dollars to speed up the development of technology of strategic importance to Apple.