Apple Inc. (AAPL) Paying 2.5 Billion Dividend To Shareholders Today

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders will be receiving the second installment of the mega-rich company’s dividend program today, reports Apple Insider. The iPhone maker, which has 935 million outstanding share, will distribute a dividend of $2.65 per share to its shareholders, making the total payout around $2.5 billion.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Paying 2.5 Billion Dividend To Shareholders Today

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) last paid a regular cash dividend in 1995, and today will be the second time in the last 17 years that the company will pay excesses to its shareholders. The iPhone maker has billions of cash in reserves and liquid assets; they carry no debt. One of the most lucrative companies in the world, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), in its most recent earnings report, in October, showed that $121.4 billion in cash.

The Cupertino based firm announced its dividend program in March, which includes a regular quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share and a $10 billion share repurchase program, beginning on September 30, 2012. The dividend and repurchase programs are scheduled to take place over the next three years. The company will be paying new quarterly dividends about a month and a half after the end of each subsequent quarter. A similar dividend will be paid to holders of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s restricted shares, although Cook refused to collect dividend payments for the 1.125 million shares of restricted stock he has been granted, which would otherwise be worth over $75 million.

Hinting on the dividend program, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook told in February, “we 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,” he added, “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”.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s stock reached an all time high of $705.07 per share when iPhone5 became commercially available, but has been declining since then. The iPhone makers $2.5 billion in quarterly dividend payments makes it one of the highest dividend payers in the U.S.

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