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.
Apple’s zeroing in on a dividend or buyback was in the works before Einhorn made his complaints public in February, although some of the sources say Apple increased the size of its plan after Einhorn’s comments. And although Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called Einhorn’s lawsuit a “silly sideshow,” the company found his idea of preferred shares “interesting,” sources said. If it decides against a share buyback, Apple could either raise its existing dividend, which the company started paying this year, or issue a special dividend.
David Einhorn, of course, is the Greenlight Capital investor who sued Apple and loudly complained over various issues in regards to preferred stock. CEO Tim Cook famously called the lawsuit a “silly sideshow”, although the courts disagreed and sided with Einhorn.
Last week, billionaire investor Warrenn Buffett said that if he was Apple, he would use Cupertino’s $130 billion cash hoard to buy stock back from investors for eighty cents on the dollar. Looks like Apple might have just that plan in mind.