Apple chief executive Tim Cook has fulfilled a longstanding desire of investors by initiating a quarterly dividend and share buyback that will pay out $45bn (£28bn) over three years.
The world's most valuable technology company will start paying its first dividends since 1995 – a regular quarterly payout of $2.65 a share – in July, and buy back up to $10bn of its stock beginning in the next fiscal year.
The $10 billion annual dividend program, which Cook said will be reviewed periodically, ranks among the largest current U.S. corporate cash payouts.
But he told analysts on Monday that "making great products" remained Apple's top priority, echoing the sentiments of his former boss Steve Jobs, who died in October after a years-long battle with cancer.
"We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure," Cook said. "You'll see more of all of these in the future."
City A.M. Reporter