Dividend, Flash-Crash Take a Bite Out of Apple

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Apple ( AAPL) was the star of the show again this week, as the company announced a dividend and a buyback, and "flash-crashed", all in the space of five days.

The consumer tech giant became allergic to dividends after co-founder Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the nineties. When Tim Cook took over from Jobs last year, however, there was a changing of the guard and the new CEO rethought the company's dividend strategy.

On Monday, 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 dividend would begin "sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012," according to a press release by the company. The buyback will start in fiscal 2013, which commences on Sept. 30, 2012.

While the dividend and buyback may have been music to investors' ears, though, the "flash-crash" definitely was not. Apple's stock tumbled on Friday, as a rogue trade sent the stock down nearly 10% in seconds.

The trade in question may have been be an order placed through the BATS exchange, which, ironically, had trouble with its own ticker while going public Friday. Parent company Bats Global Markets ( BATS) said in a statement issued at 10:48 a.m. EST, "Please be advised that BATS is currently investigating system issues trading in symbols range A through BF. Will advise."

Shares of Apple dipped on Friday, closing down $3.29, or 0.55%, at $596.05.

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