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'Cash-rich' Apple to pay dividends for first time since 1995, buy back shares

March 20, 2012 - London

Tech giant Apple has announced that it would resume paying dividends for the first time since 1995 and buy back 10 billion dollars of its shares.

The California-based firm said today that it would return 45 billion dollars to shareholders over the next three years, including a quarterly dividend of 2.65 dollars a share sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.

According to The Telegraph, the move marks the first return to regular payments since 1995, when Apple hit a financial crisis and suspended its dividend declarations.

The move also signals new boss Tim Cook's determination to stamp his own mark on the company.

Cook, who took the reins from late co-founder Steve Jobs in August, said Apple wanted to stop share-incentive schemes for future staff from being diluted, and to attract new investors.

"We hope it will broaden the investor base to attract new investors who don't currently have Apple stock. It will make us one of the largest dividend-payers on the US," he said.

"We can still maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business," he added.

According to the paper, Apple's largest shareholder, Fidelity Management, will earn 128.8 million dollars each quarter from the dividend, based on its holdings as of December 31.

Vanguard Group, the second-biggest shareholder, will receive 98.5 million dollars and State Street Corp will get make 92 million dollars.


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