“With a tough quarterly earnings season looming and some dividend stalwart energy companies slashing their payouts, analysts are eagerly awaiting an update from Apple on its plans to hike its stock dividend,” Tim Mullaney writes for CNBC.
“In each of the last two years, Apple has raised its dividend in April,” Mullaney writes. “With nearly $180 billion in cash and securities on the company’s balance sheet at the end of 2014, Apple is likely to raise its $1.88-per-share annual dividend. The only question is by how much. The rally in Apple shares, up more than 60 percent in the past year, makes the dividend question a difficult one to answer.”
“In the estimation of RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani, the ‘how much’ could run as high as a 50 percent dividend hike. Apple is likely to generate $65 billion in free cash flow in 2015 and can return all of it to shareholders through buybacks and dividends, Daryanani said. In all, Apple may return as much as $200 billion to shareholders over the next three years,” Mullaney writes. “‘The cash position is as large as Disney’s market cap,’ Daryanani said. ‘The $65 billion in cash flow is after they spend $7 billion on research and development. It has the financial flexibility to do anything it wants — Apple TV, developing a car, the next phone.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: We’ll find out about Apple’s dividend and buyback plans on April 27th.
Apple to release Q215 earnings, webcast live conference call on April 27th – March 31, 2015