Today is Steve Jobs’ birthday, and Apple is sitting on a $98-billion stockpile of “too much money.” This excessive surplus may force Apple to rethink their strategy on paying their shareholders a dividend; something the company has not done since 1995.
“Frankly speaking,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, “it’s [$98-billion] more than we need to run the company.”
At a question-and-answer session with shareholders on Thursday, Cook mentioned the Apple board were close to finalizing how to manage this extra cash. Thursday’s meeting came just days after Apple reached a record stock high of $526.29 before dipping slightly. The stock might raise even higher as Apple is expected to unveil a new version of the iPad next month.
“This isn’t a case where 100 percent of people are going to agree with what we do,” said Cook.
Overseeing the billion-dollar stockpile is a particularly touchy subject for Apple. Co-founder Jobs was famously thrifty, and consistently turned down suggestions for the company to restore its quarterly dividend in an effort to accumulate more profit. Apple originally stopped doling out money to shareholders when they were in the red, but that is hardly the case anymore.
Regardless of how Cook and the rest of Apple decide to spend their ever-growing hoard of cash, the board is likely finalize their decision shortly.
After all, after years of unprecedented growth and stock-highs, the last thing any company should do is give shareholders, or Apple-enthusiasts, reason to complain; especially in light of the passing of their iconic mock-turtlenecked tech guru.
Joanna Adams writes the Morning Cable, and lots more, for Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter at â€ @nowstarringTO.