“Talk about burying the lede,” Steve Schaefer reports for Forbes. “Apple announced a 7-for-1 stock split Wednesday, but not until the last sentence of a press release heralding an upsized capital return program to $130 billion and alongside the company’s quarterly earnings report.”

“Shareholders of record as of June 2 will receive six additional shares for each Apple share they own, and the stock will start trading on a split-adjusted on June 9,” Schaefer reports. “Apple last split its stock in 2005, when the company was a different animal all together and two years before the debut of its most successful product, the iPhone. Since then, even as the stock surged to ever-higher highs, the company steadfastly refused to split. It wasn’t just the late Steve Jobs who opposed a split either. At the company’s 2012 annual meeting, when shares were not far from where they stand today, Tim Cook dismissed the idea of a split by saying they ‘do nothing for shareholders,’ Bloomberg reported at the time.”

“The split though is hardly the only thing Apple is doing these days that had been anathema during Jobs second reign at the helm. In fact, the capital return increase to $130 billion — up to $90 billion in buybacks and an 8% dividend hike to $3.29 per share that will cost $11 billion per year — marks what amounts to a significant departure from the Jobs era, when the company hoarded cash and investors were content to let them do so with the expectation that it would be put toward innovative new products and massive products,” Schaefer reports. “The upsized buyback and dividend won’t be coming out of the repatriation of foreign cash though. Apple plans to tap the credit markets once again — at home and abroad — after selling $17 billion worth of bonds last May in its first debt offering in nearly 20 years.”

Read more in the full article here.

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