Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) just released its earnings report for the first quarter of 2013. The report contained a couple of surprises, including a drop in gross revenue to 37.5 percent, but all worries appeared to have been discarded when shares began trading again, on news the firm announced a massive share buy back program.
According to the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) earnings report, the company will initiate a share buy back of $60 billion. The move, along with an earnings report that demonstrated greater volumes and lower margins, seemed enough to placate investors.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also decided to raise its quarterly dividend 15 percent, increasing the reward investors get to own the stock. The company will now pay a dividend of $3.05 to shareholders. The firm’s share repurchase program has been increased to $60 billion from the $10 billion announced last year.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may appear weak on some metrics, but it beat analyst estimates, and announced a massive return of capital to its investors, which seems to be enough for the market in the short term. The firm’s shares were trading up in the aftermarket. At time of writing, Apple stock was up to $426.85, 5.10 percent above the closing price of $406.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) still seems to be far below its fair value, based on its sales of devices and its human capital, but this decision will add fuel to a discussion, one side of which contends that the firm is nothing without founder Steve Jobs. Under that executive, the company promised nothing in capital return to investors, instead offering them massive share price growth.
It is clear that the share buy back, even at $60 billion, and the quarterly dividend of $3.05 is not enough to boost Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares to anything like their price this time last year. Even with cash laid out to increase the price, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hasn’t made the market love it again.
Since Tim Cook took the helm of the company, however, he has given into the demands of shareholders like David Einhorn, who were looking for some of the company’s massive cash reserves to be returned to them. Coupled with the weakening in the firm’s gross margin, a strength under Jobs, some analysts will be predicting the end of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the king of the tech industry.