Apple boosts stock buyback, ups dividend 15 percent

With $145 billion in the bank, Apple has been under increasing pressure to return more money to shareholders. Now it responds -- big time.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
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Apple boosted its stock buyback and approved a 15 percent increase in its quarterly dividend.

With some $145 billion now in Apple's coffers, investors have clamored for management to return more cash to shareholders. Now the company is responding -- big time. Apple said Tuesday afternoon that it intends to use "a total of $100 billion of cash under the expanded program."

As part of the program, Apple increased its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion, up from $10 billion announced last year. The company said it was the largest single share-repurchase authorization in Apple's history. It expects to complete the buyback by the end of calendar 2015.

Also, Apple declared a dividend of $3.05 per common share, payable on May 16 to shareholders of record by the close of business on May 13. The news came as Apple announced Q2 earnings Tuesday afternoon.

"We are very fortunate to be in a position to more than double the size of the capital return program we announced last year," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in a prepared statement. "We believe so strongly that repurchasing our shares represents an attractive use of our capital that we have dedicated the vast majority of the increase in our capital return program to share repurchases."

"We will continue to return capital to shareholders through dividends, share repurchases, and cash used to net-share-settle vesting RSUs," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO. "We continue to generate cash in excess of our needs to operate the business, invest in our future, and maintain flexibility to take advantage of strategic opportunities."