In April, when Apple (AAPL) finally acquiesced to David Einhorn’s wishes and upped its payout 15%, the market cheered. What the market didn’t seem to recognize is that Apple’s improved dividend was — and is — still just a pittance.
Oh, the dividend yield of 2.9% is actually better than the market average. However, the $3.05 it plans to give back to investors over the course of the coming 12 months is only 7% of what Apple is projected earn next fiscal year.
In Apple’s defense, it also has cranked up its share-buyback program to a cap of $60 billion, which happens to be the biggest repurchase plan ever in the history of anything. Then again, with $39 billion in cash and short-term investments in addition to the $105 billion in longer-term investments it’s carrying on the books, the funds for the buyback are simply something that should have been given back to AAPL owners long ago.