“According to Bernstein Research’s Toni Sacconaghi, Apple’s top brass has been holding ‘widespread discussions’ with key investors to get input on its plans to return more of its $137.1 billion cash hoard to shareholders,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.
“Sacconaghi has been debriefing those investors and now thinks he has a pretty good idea of how Apple’s cash management plans have evolved,” P.E.D. reports. “Although many investors were hoping for some kind of announcement in March, or are expecting it to be made next week during Apple’s Q2 earnings report, Sacconaghi believes the two events are too important to be conflated, and that Apple will put at least a couple weeks between the April 23 report and any announcement of new cash management plans.”
“He also believes investors are looking for Apple to return 50% of its free-cash flow to shareholders on an ongoing basis, or about $22 billion a year. (Apple’s current cash-return rate, between stock buybacks and dividends, is $13 billion),” P.E.D. reports. “If Apple were to return all of that 50% of free-cash flow in the form of a dividend, he estimates, the yield would be around 4.5%, one of the highest among large cap tech stocks.”
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Apple to webcast Q213 earnings release conference call on April 23rd – April 3, 2013