Apple had their share buyback program running at full blast in the June quarter, as the company spent $16 billion buy pieces of itself back from shareholders. For that amount of money, they could have bought 3 BlackBerry’s. That’s individual companies, not devices.
The original schedule called for Apple to repurchase 10 million shares in its third fiscal quarter of 2013, Philip Elmer-Dewitt of Fortune 2.0 noted on Thursday. But with shares of Apple trading well below where they were a year prior, Apple instead apparently decided to push hard and buy 36 million shares.
Of the $16 billion Apple spent, $12 billion came out of the company’s accelerated share repurchase program, and the remaining $4 billion were shares bought on the open market. The average price paid was $444.44.
The average price paid per share was almost $200 off from the company’s peak of $636.23 seen a year prior, during the June quarter of 2012. Apple’s all-time high was back in September, when the hullabaloo surrounding the iPhone 5 pushed shares to $702.10.
The amount spent by Apple on buying back pieces of itself exceeded the market values of quite a few well known companies, including Nokia ($14.89 billion), BlackBerry ($4.64 billion), panel manufacturers LG Display ($8.93 billion) and Sharp Corp. ($5.07 billion)
Apple’s buyback plan runs through 2015, and includes $60 billion in share repurchases, as well as a 15% increase in Apple’s quarterly dividend.