Apple's announcement today that it would be paying out billions of dollars worth of dividends to shareholders came as something of a surprise to those who remember the company from Steve Jobs' days.
The plan includes stock buybacks that wouldn't have happened when Jobs was in office.
"No, this would not have happened," said Bill Simon, co-author of a 2005 biography of Jobs, "iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business." "Obviously the company could have afforded to do this years ago, but it didn't."
But Apple stands by their decision, due in part to the outrageous demand for their products--particularly the iPad 2--which will only add to their $100 billion piggybank. Several months ago, Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil to become the most valuable company in the world, and their stocks recently hit record amounts.
“A quarterly dividend will provide current income for shareholders and we also believe it will broaden Apple’s investor base by attracting new investors who don’t currently own Apple stock,” says Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The news was greeted with enthusiasm--and humor--by Apple users today, who tweeted their reactions:
apple paying out dividends for 2.50 a share and buying back their stocks?! i think its time to invest haha
98 billion dollars in dividends?...I need to invest and buy some stocks n apple
is freaked out Apple is spending $98 billion on dividends and their own stocks...I was kind of hoping for a $5 iTunes gift card.