Dividend Boss: Apple and Exxon Have A Big Fight On

On Tuesday evening, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced the largest single share repurchase authorization in history. The company increased the size of its share repurchase program from $10 billion to $60 billion, brushing aside the previous record buyback of $40 billion by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

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On top of the revamped share repurchase program, Apple announced that it will increase its quarterly dividend by 15 percent. Alongside the earnings release, the company announced a dividend of $3.05 payable May 16 to shareholders of date on May 13. With annual payments of about $11 billion, Apple sits comfortably in the pantheon of the largest dividend-paying companies in the world.

In fact, Apple is the largest dividend-paying company in the world, at an approximate annual payout of $11.46 billion. Apple takes the seat at the head of the table away from Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), which — after increasing its dividend by 6 cents to $0.63 — has an approximate annual payout of $11.26 billion.

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However, the aggregate dividend payout is largely a function of the total number of shares outstanding. With Exxon’s earnings due out tomorrow morning, this could change overnight.

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