Apple stopped paying dividends in 1995, preferring to focus on growth at a time when the company was facing stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft (MSFT). A decade and a half later, though, Apple is an undisputed tech heavyweight, recently surpassing Microsoft's market cap and exiting the second quarter with more than $41 billion in cash and investments.
Now, some investors are clamoring for a share of the wealth.
"I feel pretty strongly that Apple should pay a regular dividend to shareholders," said Apple investor Scott Grannis in an email to TheStreet. "The size of its cash haul is now so big that it is difficult to justify."Grannis, who writes the Calafia Beach Pundit blog, warned that a vast pool of cash could prove risky if not managed properly. "Too much cash on hand can lead to the temptation to make ill-considered acquisitions," he wrote. "We've seen that happen with a number of tech companies -- for example, Microsoft and Google (GOOG)."
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