Did Apple Do the Right Thing?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Very few can question the way Apple ( AAPL) runs its business, but the company's announcement of a dividend and a buyback may have some scratching their heads.

Apple said it would spend $10 billion on a share-repurchase program and initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said it expects to spend $45 billion over the next three years.

The concerns of Apple potentially making a mistake with its buyback and dividend announcement were expressed on Twitter.

Analyst Corinna Freedman tweeted, "Doesn't a dividend signal that $AAPL is no longer a growth company? JUST a share repurchase would have been better, I think."

Leigh Drogen, co-founder of Estimize, tweeted, "hate to say it, but $AAPL starting to look "jobsless," no innovation in iPhone or iPad refresh, now giving dividend, where is iTV?"

Apple said the dividend would begin "sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012," according to the company press release. The buyback will start in fiscal 2013, which starts on September 30, 2012. CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer held a conference call to discuss Apple's use of cash.

Speculation of what Apple would do with its significant cash hoard has only grown louder since the company's impressive first-quarter, when it announced it had nearly $100 billion in cash. Since then, Apple has spoken at an investment conference and held a shareholder meeting, and the topic has only been given more attention. At the shareholder meeting, Cook said, " W e've been thinking about cash very deeply..."

Apple made the announcement last night on its Web site, saying it would "announce the outcome of the Company's discussions concerning its cash balance."

TheStreet wants to know what you think. Do you think Apple made the right decision in announcing a dividend and buyback? Let us know in the comments and we'll gather some of the comments and compile your thoughts.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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