With its capital allocation practices squarely in the limelight, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to pay out its third dividend sum to shareholders on Friday. The company is scheduled to distribute about $2.5 billion at $2.65 per share across its 939 million outstanding shares. Shareholders on record as of February 11 will receive payment.
While Apple did not have a dividend system in place for more than 17 years, it initiated a $45-billion worth plan last year under chief executive Tim Cook while its stock hovered around $550 per share. The company also decided to start buying back stock from board members and other executives of the company. Apple’s share price broke the $700-mark in September, but has since fallen fairly rapidly and consistently over the last few months.
Apple is one of the highest dividend payers in the U.S. in absolute terms, but its current payment rate is fairly modest when compared to its cash position that was worth $137 billion at the end of December.
Some experts believe an announcement of a dividend increase can help resurrect the company’s share price, proving to be the catalyst it has sorely lacked over the past few months…