“With Apple shares getting crushed in late trading following a December quarter earnings report that featured lighter-than-expected revenues, disappointing iPhone sales and March quarter guidance well short of Street expectations, there is going to be increasing heat from investors to do something to boost shareholder sentiment on the stock,” Eric Savitz writes for Forbes.

“The company ended the quarter with $137 billion in cash and investments, or about 30% of the market cap after the sharp sell-off,” Savitz writes. “Now, the company does already pay a dividend of $2.65 a share, which at the stock’s newly reduced level is still a yield of only 2.3%… The company plans to spend $45 billion over the next three years buying back shares, but that’s not as impressive as it sounds, given that the company’s cash position increased by $16 billion in the December quarter alone. The Street would be a lot more impressed if the company bought back $45 billion or more of the stock in the next couple of quarters, rather than spread over three years.”

Savitz writes, “Apple just posted a quarter that investors hated; the company could win back some investor support with a more shareholder friendly approach to managing the balance sheet.”

Read more in the full article here.

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