by Kyle Woodley | March 19, 2012 4:41 pm
If you saw a rainbow today, chances were it led to Cupertino, Calif., and the pot of gold Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to dump on shareholders July 1 in the form of its first dividend since 1995.
The company announced it would use some of its $100 billion in cash to fund a $2.65 quarterly dividend, good for a yield of about 1.8%, and Apple also will buy back $10 billion in stock.
The news was enough to drive Apple shares up 2.7%, closing above the $600 mark for the first time. At $601, AAPL stock has gained almost 50% since the start of the year and 80% in the past 52 weeks.
Meanwhile, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) also hit a more modest milestone — $10 per share — but then immediately backtracked and actually ended up down more than 2% by the end of Monday’s trading. Bank of America had been riding the momentum of last week’s “stress test” results release. BofA passed, and although it did not announce a dividend hike — a la JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) — investors still bumped up shares by about 15% since then.
No. 3 U.S. telecom Sprint (NYSE:S) also had a long day, losing 4.5% on continued rumors that the company could eventually file for bankruptcy following a serious blow to its ability to provide 4G wireless service. Sprint recently ended its deal with Lightsquared, which would have allowed the company to provide 4G-LTE service. As it stands now, Sprint now will have to build out such a network itself — an undertaking that requires both time and money, which Sprint is short on.
Kyle Woodley is the assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out recaps from previous trading days here.
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