Apple to buy back $10 billion stock, pay dividend

Jeremy Hobson Mar 19, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Apple said this morning it’s got a plan for its $100 billion cash pile. It’s going to give its shareholders a $2.65 dividend. And it will buy back $10 billion of its own stock.

Henry Blodget is CEO of Business Insider and he joins us now live from New York with more on this story. Good morning.

Henry Blodget: Good morning, thanks for having me.

Hobson: Great to have you, Henry. So first of all, I guess there was a lot of curiosity about what Apple was going to do with its cash. What do you make of are they doing this?

Blodget: There certainly was, in tantalizing Apple fashion – of course they announced a big conference call where they were going to announce it, so everyone was hanging on every word.

Basically, this is a company that has so much cash they don’t know what to do with it. And shareholders have been increasingly asking for them to do something with it. And they’ve now come out with a very conventional response to that, which is to pay a dividend and buy back some stock to offset the option grants that they give to employees.

Hobson: And is that as useful for a company like Apple as say buying up another company?

Blodget: Well, the amazing thing is that Apple has so much cash right now that they will not hinder their ability to buy another company in any way. Basically, even paying out $11 per share, approximately, in cash per year, and buying back $10 billion in stock, their cash balance should continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. So they haven’t turned off any options.

Hobson: Henry Blodget, CEO of business insider, thanks so much.

Blodget: Thank you.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.