With AAPL stock in decline, investors are rioting to get a piece of Apple’s $137.1 billion cash horde. Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn, of course, has been making waves with his lawsuit against Apple and his proposal that Apple issue an ‘iPref’ preferred dividend to investors; now, Morgan Stanley Katy Huberty has come out of a meeting with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, apparently convinced that Apple will more than double its existing dividend to investors to 6%.
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Apple stock opened at $457.70 this morning, down more than 10%, following its financial results on Wednesday. The Cupertino company announced $13.1 billion profit for the first quarter of 2013, a slight increase over the $13.06 billion it posted for the first quarter of 2012. But despite that increase, it’s clear Apple’s phenomenal growth has hit a stumbling block.
If you own a lot of shares of Apple stock, today is going to be a great day. For the second time this year, Apple is set to give its investors $2.5 billion worth of dividends. This is the second time Apple’s done a payout this year, with the first payout occurring on August 16th 2012.
Apple announced their $45 billion stock dividend and repurchase plan back in March 2012, and they expect to spend $45 billion over the next three years.
Apple submitted its annual 10-K report with the SEC today, which summarizes the company’s growth over the last year. Reading the report shows an amazing amount of growth for the Cupertino-based company across all areas of its business: retail, research and development, and square footage it owns.
After Wednesday’s wild ride, Apple’s stock price was down even lower yesterday – trading around $530 (it’s still in that range this morning). That price prompted Andy Zaky of Bullish Cross to issue a rare buy rating for the Apple’s stock.
This is only the fifth time that Zaky has publishing a buy rating for Apple. The last time was nearly a year ago on June 20 when Apple bottomed at $310.50 a share ahead of a strong July rally that in which it grew by 30%.
Sometimes just a few words can make humongous impact – something that DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffrey Gundlach proved spectacularly Wednesday afternoon when a statement he made caused Apple’s market value to drop 2.2% – an acceleration of a much milder downward trend that Apple’s stock has been on since its record high in early April. Gundlach comments added to that trend, causing Apple stock to plummet so much that it is down $96 billion since April 9th.
For those that weren’t following Apple’s stock price on Wednesday, just after 3 p.m. Apple’s stock price dropped sharply by 2.2% to just over $540. That’s about when Gundlach took the stage at a meeting of hedge fund managers in New York and said that he was shorting Apple because he didn’t see the company being able to sustain the massive consumer excitement generated by the new iPad and other hit products.
Next week, the iPhone will launch on three additional U.S. regional carriers. This move follows last month’s roll out to five regional carriers plus last year’s addition of C Spire and Puerto Rico-based Claro Puerto (Apple’s first deasl with regional carriers).
Apple’s regional expansion prompted Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty to issue a note to investors saying that the new partnerships will help ensure sustained iPhone growth. She also noted that she doesn’t expect to see carriers dropping subsidized pricing for the iPhone – a concern that has also made investors hesitant when it comes to Apple.
After more than 15 years without paying quarterly dividends to investors, the long drought may be over for Apple fans on Wall Street. A large Apple investor expects the tech giant will announce a “significant” dividend during the first half of 2012.
When it comes to huge investors who buy mammoth blocks of Apple stock, there’s only one question: what have you done for me, lately? If you want to know why product launches are so important to Apple, it’s because the launch of a new product is critical to investors who believe Apple isn’t worth a plug nickel without its latest and greatest products.