The Apple Dividend Looks Safe – Ridiculously Safe, as Cash Position Mounts
The fiscal second quarter earnings were great at Apple (AAPL), but perhaps more astounding is the rate at which the company is piling up cash. “Apple continues to have massive cash and no debt on its balance sheet,” CreditSights analyst Zhiping Zhao noted in a research note last night.
Indeed, cash generated from operations in the quarter was $31.5 billion. And Apple’s cash hoard – its cash, short-term marketable securities and long-term marketable securities – grew by $12.6 billion in the quarter to $110.2 billion.
Apple’s dividend and stock buyback plan, announced in March, is expected to cost $45 billion over a three-year period. Clearly, unless Apple’s business tanks, the company’s cash stockpile will continue to grow during that period. Calls for a dividend hike could precede the first quarterly payout, $2.65 a share, expected sometime during the fiscal fourth quarter.