Apple Just Handed Employees the Biggest Tax Bill-Related Bonus So Far

Apple Inc. (AAPL)  is giving many employees a bonus of $2,500 worth of restricted stock units, rounding out a series of investment announcements made on Wednesday. 

The iPhone maker will start to issue stock grants to most employees worldwide in the next few months, Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the situation. Earlier on Wednesday, Apple said it would inject $350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years, as a result of the tax cut signed by President Donald Trump, to fund a new campus, data centers and 20,000 new jobs. Apple will also pay a $38 billion repatriation tax, bringing roughly $252 billion in cash back to the U.S. 

Representatives from Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We estimate about 100,000 employees will benefit, which implies a $250m liability that will vest likely in 2 years," said Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster. 

Shares of Apple advanced 1.6% to $179.10 on Wednesday following the repatriation announcements. Apple, which has 123,000 employees, had said previously that it expected to add more jobs as a result of tax reform. Industry watchers have also speculated about the possibility of Apple using its tax windfall on M&A of some kind, while others believe it may be used on share buybacks.

Other major U.S. firms have also announced plans to on use some of the money saved from corporate tax cuts on employee bonuses. So far, Apple appears to be issuing the largest checks to employees in terms of dollar amount.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) expects to issue $1,000 bonuses for more than 100,000 workers, while AT&T Inc. (T) intends to hand more than 200,000 employees a $1,000 check. Walmart (WMT) will raise its minimum wage to $11 per hour and is giving out bonuses between $200 and $1,000, depending on employee years of service. Additionally, Wells Fargo (WFM) is raising its hourly pay rate to $15 and Bank of America (BAC) said employees making less than $150,000 per year will receive a one-time, year-end bonus of $1,000, while Boeing (BA) will earmark $300 million for employee-related and charitable investment.

Jim Cramer and the AAP team hold positions in Apple and Comcast for their Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL or CMCSA? Learn more now.

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