When asked today why it was going to begin paying out an ongoing quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share to stockholders, one reason Apple cited for the new plan was that it wanted to “generate income” for its investors, and consequently attract investors for whom a dividend was an investment necessity.
It got us thinking. Apple says it wants to generate income for its shareholders, but $2.65 per quarter per share is a pretty small amount. How much stock would you need to own to even earn minimum wage from dividend payments?
The answer might surprise you, and will surely put into perspective the size of the investments Apple is hoping to attract.
Here’s how we did the math. First, we took the minimum wage of California, Apple’s home state, which is 8 dollars an hour. For a 40 hour work day that takes place over an average of 22 work days per month, the average Californian minimum wage employee makes $1408 a month, before taxes. Since Apple pays the $2.65 dividend quarterly, we multiplied $1408 by three months, giving us a quarterly minimum wage earnings of $4224.
So how many shares of Apple stock would you need to earn $4,224 in dividends per quarter? 1,594 shares paying a $2.65 dividend every three months.
And how much does 1,594 shares of Apple stock cost? At writing, the value of one share of AAPL costs $598.35; 1,594 shares would cost you $953,747.32 on the market.
Got that? To earn minimum wage on the new Apple dividend, you need to own almost a million dollars in Apple stock.
Heck, even if you just want to earn the average wage of a Foxconn assembly line workers, you need to invest almost $300,000 in AAPL per quarter.
Amazing. We’re not financial wizards here, but it really makes clear the type of investors Apple is trying to attract: the kind of Gordon Geckos who can drop a hundred million into a company and not bat an eye. The only people earning any real money on this move are already gazilionaires.