Can Apple shareholders sue for a dividend?

“Apple has nearly $100 billion in cash just sitting on its balance sheet, earning nothing more than a market rate of return,” Chris Ciaccia reports for CNBC. “As the cash hoard grows ever larger, shareholders have grown increasingly more vocal about getting hold of it.”

Ciaccia writes, “This poses the question: Do Apple shareholders have a legal right to the cash, and could they sue Apple to get it?”

“Even though there’s growing pressure for Apple to start paying a dividend again, the board does not have an obligation to pay, despite investors’ cries for something to be done,” Ciaccia reports. “Corporations are not charities, say lawyers, and are designed to earn a profit, which they can’t do effectively if shareholders are demanding financial capital back.”

Much more in the full article here.

46 Comments

  1. It may be possible, but I hope not. I want that cash in the hands of the wizards who have created the most magical and successful companies in my lifetime and possibly all of human history, not in the hands of corrupt and incompetent economy and job destroying Wall Street crooks.

    1. No, I want that cash in my hands.

      Think about it rationally. If Apple pays a dividend at the rate AT&T does then 100 shares of stock would pay enough dividend in a little over 7 years to buy another 100 shares. Reinvest the dividend, hold the stock for 30 years, and boom you’ve got a very tidy nest egg of 1,600 shares when it comes time to retire.

    1. Agreed!

      Apple did not get to its current standard with revenue and product catelog by listening to outside sources. If they did, they wouldn’t have the perceived seperation from the industry. If you don’t like the philosophy of Apple’s culture, buy another stock, phone or computer.

  2. I’ve had Apple for 17 years now and I have never asked for a dividend. Besides the big name funds, who’s asking? I’d be interested to see who asks during next Thursday’s sharer holder meeting.

  3. I am a stockholder. Any stockholder who has held the stock for any period of time would be a complete idiot to sue. The company management has shown incredible strategic brilliance in competing and winning in their market space. The cash is a part of the winning formula. I trust the management to make the right decision on when and if to pay a dividend. And there are issues that have to with tax implications on the repatriation of overseas profits which would significantly reduce the $100 billion. Until our Federal Government decides to have an intelligent tax policy, with a planning window longer than about 6 months, and one that stops punishing profitable enterprises, I would encourage Apple to keep the money out of the reach of the Senate and the President who could go through the $100 billion in about a day and not break a sweat.

  4. I don’t believe that it is the individual shareholders demanding this. I believe that it is the large, institutional holders clamouring. And I don’t really believe that the large, institutional holders have real, individual share holds’ interests at heart. They just want quick payback.

    1. they could care less if they completely destroy Apple in the process if it means they look good on their balance sheets at the end of the quarter. I can’t think of a nicer group of crooks that I would love to see behind bars saying hi to bubba.

  5. Chris ‘Choke-the-chicken’ asks: “Do Apple shareholders have a legal right to the cash, and could they sue Apple to get it?”

    Translation: ‘Apple has a lot of money and we want some of it.’

    Answer: No, no and hell no.

    There are two kinds of publicly traded companies (stocks): those that pay dividends and those that do NOT.

    Apple stock does *not* pay dividends.

    If people want dividends, then they should buy stock in another company that pays dividends.

    Chris ‘Chicken-choker’ has the mindset of a moocher & looter and would rape & pillage whatever he could get his hands on.

    Leave Apple alone, you fraqin’ opportunist.

    Get the hell over the ‘dividend’ issue.

    CNBC needs to fraq off…

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