Apple announced plans this morning to initiate a quarterly dividend for share holders, as well as a new share repurchase program which should begin later this year and cost Apple $10 billion. The dividend will pay out $2.65 per share starting in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, while the repurchase program will begin in fiscal 2013.
“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You’ll see more of all of these in the future,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.”
The new plans are expected to cost Apple $45 billion over the course of the next three years, which likely won’t actually shrink their cash reserves, but instead slow their rate of growth.