CUPERTINO, Calif. (
(AAPL - Get Report)
shares ticked upwards in early trading Monday after the company overhauled its cash strategy, announcing plans for a quarterly dividend and $10 billion share-repurchase.
The iPhone maker's stock gained $6.19, or 1.06%, to reach $591.76 by midmorning, far outpacing the Nasdaq's modest 0.09% gain.
| Apple CEO Tim Cook.
In a statement released before market open, Apple confirmed that it plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share, sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1, 2012. The company's board also authorized a $10 billion share-repurchase program, starting in the company's fiscal 2013, which begins on Sept. 30, 2012.
Apple, which last paid a dividend in 1995, has faced increasing calls to carve off some of its vast $98 billion cash haul. The company's former CEO and co-founder, Steve Jobs, resisted pressure for a dividend, although his successor, Tim Cook, fuelled speculation that Apple may rethink its cash policy.
Speaking during a conference call before market open on Monday, Cook said that the dividend payment will bring more investors into the Apple fold.
"This will broaden Apple's investor base by attracting more investors who do not currently hold Apple's stock," he said. Apple, he added, will "periodically" review its dividend and repurchase plans.
Apple's shares, which surpassed $600 for the first time last week, have climbed more than 46% this year.
-- Written by James Rogers in New York
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