NEW YORK -- Apple (AAPL) said Monday it will initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share starting from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. It also said it would maintain a "war chest for strategic opportunities."
Over three years, the company expects to spend $45 billion of its nearly $100 billion cash pile. Apple also said a repurchase program of $10 billion will begin Sept. 30, the start of its fiscal 2013 year, and be executed over three years.
The announcement came ahead of when investors had anticipated, as the company had published a brief investor alert on its Web site Sunday that it would hold a conference call at 9 a.m. EDT to "announce the outcome of the Company's discussions concerning its cash balance."
Shares were lower by around 1% when trading reopened on the stock in the premarket session Monday.
United Parcel Service (UPS) said Monday it agreed to buy TNT Express, the second-largest express delivery company in Europe, for almost $7 billion. UPS will buy TNT for €9.5 a share ($6.77 billion). Last month, UPS offered to buy TNT for €9 a share, or $6.4 billion, but the offer was rejected. The acquisition is the biggest ever for UPS, which is the No. 1 delivery company in the world. UPS said the deal would expand its reach in Europe and other markets where TNT has operations like Latin America and Asia. UPS shares were up 1.5% to $79.60 before the bell.
Zayo Group announced that it will acquire AboveNet (ABVT), a provider of high-bandwidth connectivity solutions, in a deal worth $2.2 billion. The offer price is a 21% premium to the average closing price of AboveNet's stock for the past 60 days. AboveNet shares were soaring 13.8% to $84.51 before the bell.
LDK Solar (LDK), the Chinese solar company, lowered the top end of its revenue range for the fourth quarter to about $440 million to $450 million. It previously expected revenue of $440 million to $520 million. LDK said Monday gross-profit margins likely would be negative and it would record inventory writedowns and charges because of falling prices wafers and modules. Shares were down 1.6% to $4.82 in premarket trading.
Adobe Software (ADBE) is expected by analysts to post fiscal first-quarter profit of 57 cents a share on revenue of $1.05 billion. Shares were up 0.5% to $34. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel and Chao Deng.
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