Apple just announced a hefty, $US50 billion, four-quarter expansion of its plan to return capital to shareholders, helping to mitigate investor disappointment to weaker-than-expected revenue results in its most recent quarter.
The bulk of the plan is an additional $US35 billion in stock buybacks, bringing the company’s total share repurchase plan to $US210 billion. Apple also said its board has approved a 10.5% increase in the company’s quarterly dividend. Overall, Apple said it plans to spend $US300 billion by March 2019.
The news comes as part of Apple’s latest quarterly earnings report in which the company’s revenue fell slightly short of Wall Street estimates, with flat iPhone sales and declining Mac and iPad businesses.
Following Apple’s earnings report, the company’s stock was down about 2% in after-hours trading on Tuesday. The expansion of the stock buyback plan is likely intended to bolster Apple’s share price — a tactic big companies often use, taking advantage of its $US256.8 billion cash hoard to keep investors happy.
Here’s a chart showing Apple’s buyback plan to date:
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