Apple Opens Bank Vault, Will Distribute $100 Billion to Shareholders

Apple will buy back $60 billion in shares — the largest buyback authorization in history.

Apple is finally opening the doors to its bank vault, saying it will distribute $100 billion in cash to its shareholders over two years.

Apple Inc. on Tuesday said it will buy back $60 billion in shares — the largest buyback authorization in history. It is also raising its dividend by 15 percent.

Investors have been clamoring for Apple to give them access to its cash hoard, which ended March at an unprecedented $145 billion. Apple's tight grip on its cash has been blamed for the steep decline in its stock price over the winter.

News of the cash bonanza coincided with the company's release of a poor quarterly outlook for the three-month period that ends in June. It sent the Cupertino-based tech giant's stock up in after-hour trading.

Apple said it had better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter, but its outlook for next quarter fell far short of expectations — and it posted its first profit decline in ten years.

Its projected drop in third quarter sales would mark the first year-over-year third quarter drop in many years. The June quarter is generally a weak one for Apple, since consumers tend to hold off for the next iPhone, which the company usually releases in the fall.

According to its earnings report, Apple also increased its dividend by 15 percent to $3.05 a share, according to CNBC.

Here are the numbers: Apple reported earnings of $10.09 a share on revenue of $43.6 billion. Last quarter, Apple earned $12.30 a share on revenue of $39.2 billion.

Looking ahead, Apple forecast revenue of between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion for the next quarter. That is well below the $38.25 billion Wall Street was forecasting.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that Apple is pleased to report record March quarter revenue thanks to continued strong performance of iPhone and iPad.

Apple said it sold 37.4 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 35.1 million in the same span last year. Apple sold 19.5 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 11.8 million a year-ago. It sold just under 4 million Macs, compared to 4 million a year ago.

International sales accounted for 66 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

"Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software and services, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline," the statement read.
“Our cash generation remains very strong, with $12.5 billion in cash flow from operations during the quarter and an ending cash balance of $145 billion,” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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