With Apple stock seemingly in free fall, a new report suggests that Apple is going to announce a plan to return additional value to shareholders as soon as this spring, either by increasing the existing dividend or by buying back stock from investors.
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Chief investment officer of Gamco Investors, Howard Ward, today said that Apple is planning to reveal its plans for what to do with the enormous amount of cash by next month. Apple needs to respond to growing criticism over what it’s doing with its $137.1 billion in cash and investments, not to mention the $42 billion in earnings investors expect Apple to add in 2013, says Ward.
Greenlight Capital is suing Apple in an effort to get Apple to send back more of its $137 billion cash reserves in the form of shareholder dividends. Apple took this fairly seriously, and issued a press release explaining where they were at on the issue, including the fact that the Cupertino-based company has already given shareholders $10 billion of a planned $45 billion in cash.
Today, however, a judge in the US Court for the Southern District of New York approved a request by both parties in the suit to move the timetable for a response, with Apple planning to file by the end of the day this coming Wednesday, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
There have been a lot of ideas suggested for what Apple could do with its nearly $100 billion in cash. Some have been serious suggestions like companies that Apple could buy while others are a little more absurd but illustrate just how much money Apple’s got.
Today, Warren Buffett revealed to viewers of CNBC’s Squawk Box that Steve Jobs wasn’t sure what to do with all the money Apple began raking in over recent years and asked for advice. He ultimately ignored that advice in his typical fashion while telling others that Buffett agreed with his decision for Apple to just sit on its money.