Apple has announced that it is to use its cash windfall to pay a dividend to shareholders, at a conference call today.
The iPhone manufacturer said it would pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share from July this year and also buy back up to $10bn (£6.3bn) of its own shares in the next financial year.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a statement: ”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.
“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 programme.”
At the end of last year, Apple revealed it had $97.6bn in cash, a figure undoubtedly bolstered by sales of the iPhone 4S (released in October last year), and set to be swelled further following the recent launch of the latest iPad.
In the days leading up to the announcement, shares in the technology giant rose to around $600, making it the world’s most valuable company, with a stock market value estimated to exceed $500bn. This will be the first time Apple has declared a dividend since 1995.