Apple expects to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share sometime in the fourth fiscal quarter which begins July 1.
Apple’s $10 billion share buyback program will begin in the 2013 fiscal year starting Sept. 30 and operate for three years.
Apple has nearly $ 97.6 billion of cash sitting on its balance sheet and faced growing pressure from Apple shareholders to share their huge cash profits.
Apple said it would use up to $45 billion of its domestic cash on the stock buyback and dividend program.
The new dividend amounts to $10.60 annually, or roughly 1.8 percent of Apple’s current stock price.
Although Apple has offered dividends in the 1990’s, the Cupertino, California company has resisted pressure to issue a dividend at the request of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
The new Apple dividend is slightly below other big technology companies like Microsoft which is currently at 2.5 percent. But some analysts believe that Apple may increase their dividend in the future. Cook said that he would periodically review the company’s dividend program and share repurchase plans in the future but his priority remains product innovation.
Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized in today’s conference call that he is positive about Apple’s future.
“We don’t see ceilings to growth. Innovation remains the main objective at Apple, and we will not lose site of that” Cook said today in a conference call.
Cook assured investors that the dividend and share buyback programs won’t prevent the company from important investments in the future.
Last Friday Apple began selling their new iPad, its 3rd version.
Although Cook did not provide any sales numbers from the week-end, he said during the conference call, “We had a record weekend, and we’re thrilled with it.”