technology

Apple Boosts Share Buyback Plan by $100 Billion, Lifts Dividend

Apple's Services Revenue Drives Solid 2Q Earnings

Apple Inc. said it will return even more money to shareholders as the company generates mountains of cash from gadget sales and benefits from recent U.S. tax cuts.

The iPhone maker committed to spend an additional $100 billion in share repurchases, it said Tuesday in announcing quarterly earnings. That comes on top of the existing $210 billion buyback program to be completed during the fiscal third quarter.

Apple also increased its quarterly dividend for shareholders by 16 percent, raising it to 73 cents a share from 63 cents. Analysts, on average, expected the dividend to be raised to 74 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

After pioneering the smartphone in 2007, Apple’s iPhone has helped the company generate huge profits. Apple sat on almost $300 billion in cash at the end of 2017 and has returned $275 billion to shareholders since starting its capital return program in 2012.

After the U.S. slashed corporate tax rates late last year, Apple said it would bring back most of its cash from overseas. At the annual shareholder meeting in February, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the company would likely continue raising dividends rather than issue a one-time special dividend in light of the new tax law.

Morgan Stanley analysts recently estimated that U.S. tax changes gave Apple $163 billion of "dry powder" available to return to shareholders, in addition to the company’s ongoing cash generation.

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