For better or worse, Apple has $137 billion in cash and investors, especially the institutional type, want more of it. Last year, the company announced a cash dividend on March 19 and, now, a year later analysts and pundits believe the Apple dividend is about to increase it by more than 50 percent.
Bloomberg, quoting a survey of analysts, reports that Apple will increase its dividend to $4.14 from $2.65, a whopping 56 percent increase.
Apple will probably lift its quarterly dividend 56 percent to $4.14 a share, for an annual payout of $15.7 billion, according to the average estimate from six analysts. The resulting yield of 3.7 percent would be higher than 86 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index paying dividends. Apple could fund a payout with existing cash flow without using profit from overseas…
“The accumulation of cash has become excessive,” said Brian White, analyst, Topeka Capital. “It doesn’t matter which bearish scenario you forecast, they’re never going to need this much cash.”
Apple has more than $137 billion in cash, though the majority of that is stashed in overseas accounts. The company will likely add over $40 billion to that total this year with most of coming from profits generated outside the US.
Apple Dividend Increase: BOOM?
If Apple brought those funds home, it could owe billions in taxes. The Cupertino, California-based Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod maker could pay an increased by borrowing against those overseas holdings, a seemingly round about way to get the job done.
If Apple chooses to pay a $4.14 per share dividend, it would be the highest of any technology company by a wide margin.
That said, do think Apple will offer a higher dividend? Will the company, which is wallowing cash, borrow to do it? And what about an Apple dividend increase of 50 percent? It all seems a bit hard to believe…
What’s your take?