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Apple Gears up to Distribute $3 billion to Shareholders

On November 12, Apple will pay shareholders of record a quarterly dividend of $0.52 per share, but investors must have settled ownership of the company’s stock by Thursday November 5 in order to qualify.

Apple has been paying its shareholders a dividend about a month and a half after the end of each fiscal quarter ever since it declared its modern dividend plan in the summer of 2012.  The November dividend will be the sixth to occur since the company issued a 7-for-1 stock split. That split also converted the dividend from $3.29 per share to 47 cents per share.

It will be the third 52 cent dividend Apple has paid since it announced plans to increase its dividend from 47 cents during its Q2 earnings conference call.

Since the stock split, Apple repurchased a surprising $17 billion of its own stock in the year-ago September quarter; $5 billion of stock in open market purchases during its December quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q1 2015); another $7 billion of stock in open market purchases during its March quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q2 2015); another $4 billion of stock in open market purchases and $6 billion in Accelerated Share Repurchase in the June quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q3 2015); followed by an astounding $14 billion of stockin open market purchases in the most recent September quarter (Apple’s Fiscal Q4 2015).

The company now has 5.575 billion shares outstanding.

Apple shares outstanding Q4 2015

Apple shares outstanding Q4 2015. Source: YCharts.com

Since the beginning of 2014, Apple shares are up 52.47 percent, compared to Microsoft’s 45.88 percent gain or Google’s 30.33 percent gain in nonvoting GOOG C class shares and 34.92 percent gain in standard GOOGL A class shares.

Since the start of 2015, Apple shares are up 10.53 percent, compared to Microsoft’s 27.98 percent gain or Google’s 38.32 percent gain in nonvoting GOOG C class shares and 42.32 percent gain in standard GOOGL A class shares. Google split its shares into the two classes and awarded investors one of each, effectively stripping investors of half their voting rights through the “dividend” dilution.