Q2 2014 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/23/2014

Cash flow from operations was very strong at $13.5 billion for the quarter.

We executed almost $21 billion worth of capital return activities during the March quarter. First, our third accelerated share repurchase program in late January through which we will acquire an additional $12 billion of Apple stock. We received an initial delivery of 19.2 million shares under this ASR and we received a balance of shares due when the program concludes by December of this year.

Second, we paid $2.7 billion in dividends in February. And finally, we spent $6 billion on open market purchases of 11.4 million shares throughout the March quarter.

At the end of March, we also settled our second ASR program, which was launched in April of last year, resulting in the retirement of an additional 1.1 million shares. I would like now to go into more detail about the expansion of our capital return program that we're announcing today.

Let me start by summarizing the progress that we've made on the program we updated a year ago. By the end of March 2014, we've already taken action of $46 billion of the current $60 billion share repurchase authorization, over 75% of the program with seven quarters remaining to its completion.

We have acted aggressively and opportunistically and have delivered on our intention to return capital to shareholders at a fast pace. Including dividends and net-share-settlements, we've taken action on $66 billion of total $100 billion program announced last year.

Today we've taken additional steps that will increase the overall size of the program from $100 billion to over $130 billion within the same timeframe of December 2015 as before. There are two elements to the expansion of the program.

First, we're increasing the size of our share repurchase authorization from $60 billion to $90 billion. We are very confident in Apple's future, and we believe our current stock price does not reflect the full value of the Company. That's why the vast majority of our capital program continues to be allocated to share repurchases. We will also continue to net-share-settle, restricted stock units and expect to utilize about $1 billion of cash annually for that purpose.

Second, our Board has declared a dividend of $3.29 per common share payable on May 15, 2014 to shareholders of record as of May 12, 2014. That represents an increase of about 8% in our quarterly dividend. We understand the importance of dividend increases to many of our investors, and we're increasing the dividend for the second time in less than two years. We are planning for continued annual increases, and we're very proud that Apple is one of the largest dividend payers in the world with annual payments of $11 billion.

All our capital return activities must be funded by domestic cash, which as I mentioned was about $18 billion as we exited the March quarter and down from $39 billion in the quarter that we paid our first dividend. We will maintain sufficient domestic liquidity to grow the business and execute capital expenditures and acquisitions.

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