“Almost lost in the news last March 19 that Apple (AAPL) was initiating a $2.65-per-share dividend was Part 2 of the two-part announcement: A three-year $10 billion stock repurchase plan commencing in fiscal 2013, which began on Sunday,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“The repurchase plan — designed to offset the shares Apple was giving its employees in lieu of larger salaries — was neither expected nor particularly sought by Wall Street, as Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi noted at the time,” P.E.D. reports. “‘Was a buyback really needed?’ he asked. ‘While some investors have expressed a desire for Apple to do a buyback in addition to a dividend, we believe that this view was not widely held, with most investors preferring a larger dividend.'”

P.E.D. reports, “As for the buyback, he expected its impact to be ‘fairly diminimus’ — boosting EPS at most 1-2% per year.”

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