Apple will hold a conference call tomorrow morning to discuss its nearly $100 billion cash balance, the company announced this afternoon, a sign the company may be getting ready to give some money back to its stockholders.
The company, which hasn't paid a regular cash dividend since 1995, has $97.6 billion of cash and liquid assets and carries no debt on its books, according to a January filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a note to investors last month posted by Fortune, UBS said that Apple's management has been "soliciting opinions of large shareholders" about paying a dividend, something that Apple is frequently asked about.
Apple's board of directors has beenmore and "in greater detail" than before, Apple CEO Tim Cook said last month during a keynote interview at the Goldman Sachs' annual Technology and Internet Conference.
"It's clear to everyone that we have more cash than we need to run the business on a daily basis," Cook said during the keynote. "I would ask for a bit of patience so we can do this in a deliberate way so we can make a decision that respects the shareholders."
Of course, the announcement of a dividend is just one of the many moves the company could make with its mountain of cash. The tech giant might be ready to announce a stock-buyback plan or a large acquisition, or perhaps it has earmarked the money for capital expenditures on large construction projects, such as its newin Cupertino, Calif., or its data centers in and .
Fueled by record sales of the iPhone,last quarter--earnings of $46.33 billion and profits of $13.06 billion.
Apple's stock price reached a record $600 on Thursday in anticipation of strong sales of the new iPad before retreating to a $585 closing price, giving the company a market valuation of more than $545 billion. The milestone highlights the meteoric stock price gains over the past three years, coming only a month after hitting $500 and three months after hitting $400.
The meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. PT, will be hosted by Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer and will only address the company's cash reserves. No updates on the current quarter will be discussed.
Updated at 5:30 p.m. PT to correct Apple's dividend history.
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