Blog Post

Apple: We’re talking about how to distribute more of $137B in cash to shareholders

Even after Apple(s AAPL) began issuing a dividend to its stock holders last year, some investors still aren’t happy with the continued accumulation of Apple’s cash pile. In response to one vocal investor on Thursday, Apple issued a statement saying that it is still looking for ways to distribute some of its $137 billion back to investors.

Greenlight Capital CEO David Einhorn, whose firm owns more than a million shares of Apple stock, is unhappy with Apple urging its shareholders to overturn a clause in the company’s bylaws that allow for the issuance of preferred stock. Einhorn is suing Apple in an attempt to get it to reverse its proposal.

Apple responded Einhorn’s public comments about his dissatisfaction with how Apple is handling its cash with its own statement:

Apple’s management team and Board of Directors have been in active discussions about returning additional cash to shareholders. As part of our review, we will thoroughly evaluate Greenlight Capital’s current proposal to issue some form of preferred stock. We welcome Greenlight’s views and the views of all of our shareholders.

As a part of our efforts to further enhance corporate governance and serve our shareholders’ best interests, Proposal #2 in our proxy includes some recommended changes to our articles of incorporation. These changes were recommended independently of Greenlight’s proposal and would not preclude Apple from adopting their concept. Contrary to Greenlight’s statements, adoption of Proposal #2 would not prevent the issuance of preferred stock.

Apple shareholders will be able to vote on its current proposal (PDF) at the Feb. 27 annual meeting.

It was just a year ago that many of these same Apple investors were actively vocalizing their displeasure with the company’s lack of an investor dividend and a fast-accumulating pile of millions. Then in March 2012, after nearly two decades without a dividend, CEO Tim Cook listened to his shareholders and announced a dividend of $2.65 per share, in addition to a share buyback agreement voted on by the board of directors.

As of next week, Apple says it’s returned roughly $10 billion to shareholders out of its planned $45 billion announced last March.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user [401(K) 2012].

5 Responses to “Apple: We’re talking about how to distribute more of $137B in cash to shareholders”

  1. hundoman

    Why doesn’t Apple issue a refund to all the customers and cellular carriers they have been ripping off for years?

    I mean $50 dollars for an Apple specific dongle to attach a $5 HDMI cable to an iOS product is just a joke.

    Also how about all the money they have been forcing cellular companies to pay to carry the iPhone and cellular iPads. If anything the cellular customers who aren’t buying iOS products are paying way more a month in monthly cell bills to help cover these costs that only go to Apples pocket.

  2. This wouldn’t be the major topic of discussion, if AAPL had given any indication there is a profitable post-Jobs strategy and it has executed on it. Now, all investors can think of how can we get out with as much as possible.

    • I agree albin. I was a die hard x86 guy for over 20 years. I bought an iPad that sold me on the iPhone and I was very happy. after jobs death we lost maps YouTube. i never had an apple device crash on me. one of the last updates now crashes my programs to desktop intermittently. they are releasing too many products to close together and making thier own products obsolete. product release dates that were far apart allowed developers time to perfect their code and test and debug. I just ran into an app that requires ios 6 so I can’t run it. if I wanted software that crashed and was made obsolete every 6 months I would have stayed with android. the current decision makers need to be fired. whoever is making decisions now are going to kill the company with their current plan. it is sad they are killing everything that made apple great.

    • Hard to guess whether you’re more ignorant of tech – or investing. If you actually read statements from AAPL instead of repeating whining punditry, your concerns could be avoided.

      Investors who panic over firms with growth rates only ten times the rate of our GDP growth deserve to spend their spare time peering into the darkness of their bedroom clothes closet for ghosties and ghoulies.

  3. S. Eric Rhoads

    How much of that profit is stuck off shore without an easy way to distribute to US stockholders due to tax law? Perhaps that is why they are discussing the issuance of preferred stock versus a cash dividend?