Apple is embarking on a $45bn (£28bn) spending spree to buy back shares and initiate a quarterly dividend.
Subject to declaration by the board of directors, the cash-rich technology giant plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share some time in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which starts 1 July.
The $10bn share repurchase plan will start in fiscal 2013 and is expected to take place over three years. The main objective is to "neutralise" the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchases, Apple said.
Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, said in a statement: "We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditure in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure.
"Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase programme."
Peter Oppenheimer, chief financial officer at Apple, said: "We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead."
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