Apple to pay dividend, start stock buybacks

PETER SVENSSON AP Technology Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple is finally putting its cash hoard to work, introducing a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share and starting a $10 billion share buyback program.

Apple says the dividend will start in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins July 1. The buybacks will begin in its next fiscal year, which starts Sept. 30.

Apple is sitting on $97.6 billion in cash and securities. For years, it has resisted calls to reward shareholders with some of that money. Since the death of CEO Steve Jobs, management has signaled that it's been considering options for the money.

The expectation of a dividend has already helped send the stock up 37 percent since Apple's latest earnings report. In pre-market trading, the shares touched a record level of $600.23, up 2.5 percent from Friday's close.