“Apple has obviously changed a great deal in the past few years. It has gone from a company with almost unbelievable growth rates to one that returns capital to shareholders in amounts that are unprecedented,” Josh Arnold writes for Seeking Alpha. “That transformation hasn’t stopped the stock from continuing to rise and indeed I have to imagine shareholders are more than pleased.”

“But given that Apple has undergone the transformation to become a mature company that focuses on paying shareholders, what can it do with its dividend?” Arnold writes. “The yield is down to just 1.7% thanks to the prodigious rally in the share price. But as we know, Apple can do more.”

“Apple has the potential to be a world-class dividend stock,” Arnold writes. “But it just isn’t right now. And until the strategy shifts away from being so dependent upon the buyback, it won’t be.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We don’t expect Apple to become The Dividend King in terms of yield (Apple is already the world’s largest dividend payer in terms of total payout), but they do have to keep dividends within a healthy range. And, yes, we’d like to see a bit more per share than we’re seeing currently, but we’ll likely have to wait until next spring (late April/early May) for Apple’s annual dividend update. Also of high importance, of course, will be action on both U.S. corporate taxes and a U.S. repatriation tax holiday, which we do expect eventually.

Apple is now the world’s largest dividend payer – May 13, 2017
Analyst: Apple could double dividend, buy Netflix with repatriated cash under President Trump’s U.S. corporate tax changes – March 17, 2017
Apple’s real dividend yield is much higher than you might think – March 10, 2017

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]