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  (Source: thetechjournal.com)
Cook is wondering what to do with the company's $97.6 billion

There's no doubt that Apple is a cash cow. Just last year, many reports started circulating that the tech giant had a larger bank account than the U.S. government, where Apple ended June 2011 with $76.2 billion and the government had $73.8 billion. Now, Apple CEO Tim Cook is saying that the company has more money than it needs.

At the annual shareholders' meeting on Thursday, which is the first since former Apple CEO Steve Jobs' death, Cook tried to determine whether Apple should stop hoarding cash the way Jobs has been for years, or if it's time to stick a hand in the $97.6 billion cookie jar and pay shareholders a dividend this year.

Apple used to pay shareholders a quarterly dividend, but stopped doing so in 1995 because of Apple's financial hardships. Apple even had to turn to Microsoft for a $150 million infusion around the time that Jobs came back as CEO in 1997.

After those dark times, Jobs held on to every cent that the company made. When the new millennium rolled around, Apple started seeing great success with Macs, Macbooks, iPods/iPod touch's, iPhones and iPads. Despite the large amount of cash coming in, Jobs continued pinching pennies.

Now, Jobs has been deceased since October 5, 2011, and Cook is looking to use some of the money that it has because he said "it's more than we need to run the company." The problem is figuring out what to do with the money.

Paying a dividend to shareholders would offer a long-term increase to Apple's stock price because it would lure new investors who only buy shares in companies with a dividend.

However, Apple shareholder Asif Khan of Sugar Land, Texas suggested that Cook not provide a quarterly dividend every three months because it might be misinterpreted by some investors that Apple is losing faith in its ability to continue pushing its stock price higher as the company keeps introducing popular products. Rather, Khan would prefer Apple to pay a one-time divided later this year before the federal tax rate limits dividends to 15 percent.

Apple's stock has soared 50 percent over the past year, producing about $160 billion in shareholder wealth and now has a market value of $480 billion. Shares of Apple rose less than 1 percent to $516.39 at closing yesterday.

Another suggestion of what to do with the cash was to buy Greece, which is currently experiencing a debt crisis, but Cook said Apple is not interested.

The cash cow is only likely to get larger with Apple planning several product and software launches this year. For instance, the iPad 3 is due to be announced at an event next week, and the OS X Mountain Lion operating system is due this year as well.

Source: Bloomberg



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RE: Buy market share?
By TakinYourPoints on 2/25/2012 8:07:48 PM , Rating: 2
It was absolutely a bigger upgrade. I've made Microsoft OS upgrades since MS-DOS 4.0 and Mac upgrades only since OS 10.2. I personally upgraded machines from both XP to Vista and 10.3 to 10.4, and featurewise the OS X upgrades have been far more substantial than a service pack. Spotlight systemwide indexing and search (which still works better than Windows Search in Windows 7) was by itself far beyond what you'd see in a mere service pack, and it was one of many additionas in that upgrade.

It seems that you are basing the value of the upgrade on something copmpletely superficial, the name, rather than looking at added functionality for end users and changes under the hood.

Your entire argument hinges on marketing names rather than features. Do you realize how stupid that sounds?


RE: Buy market share?
By djdjohnson on 3/1/2012 5:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
XP to Vista was almost a bigger upgrade than System 1 to OS X. The UI for the Mac has hardly changed since it came out in 1984. Sure, they've added the dock and color to the interface, but it's still the same basic UI.

At least in XP to Vista they reworked a ton of stuff. And the internals in Vista are incredibly different than they were in XP. Microsoft nearly doubled the number of APIs and features available to developers in Vista. You can't say anything like that about 10.anything to 10.anything else. It's more-or-less the same as when it shipped more than 10 years ago.


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