A Fool Looks Back


Apple (NAS: AAPL) sold 3 million new iPads last weekend, but the really meaty morsel from Cupertino on Monday was its decision to reinitiate a quarterly dividend policy that was seemingly left for dead on the other side of the this millennium.

Apple's plan to return $45 billion to investors over the next three years is aggressive. The tech titan will begin paying a quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share starting next month. It will also begin buying back $10 billion worth of stock in fiscal 2013.

Why wait until at least October to begin buying back gobs of stock? That's a fair question, though shareholders are unlikely to mind how it plays out. If the stock is lower at that point, Apple gets to buy more shares. If the stock is higher, investors will already be happy.

There will always be varying opinions on dividends. Income investors obviously love them, though growth investors prefer that companies reinvest their money into growing the business. Well, with $97.6 billion in cash and marketable securities, Apple is unlikely to ever need to put all of that money to work.

Open wide, shareholders.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) is acquiring Kiva Systems in a $775 million deal. Kiva makes automatons that help increase the efficiency of shipping and fulfillment centers by retrieving ordered items. An even more efficient Amazon? My apologies to real-world retail.

  • Benchmark Co. upgraded OpenTable (NAS: OPEN) , offering up the online dining reservations specialist as a buyout candidate. Would that be considered a takeout order?

  • Sirius XM Radio (NAS: SIRI) is teaming up with Toyota (NYS: TM) to offer buyers of certified used cars three-month trial subscriptions to the satellite-radio service. Play on!

Moving on
Now that you've had a glimpse of the past, let's delve into the future. A new report details the latest Rule-Breaking multibagger that has earned Fool co-founder David Gardner's attention. The report is free, and you're closer to it than you might think. Check it out now.

At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, OpenTable, and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Amazon.com, OpenTable, and Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizcalls them as he sees them. He owns no shares in any of the stocks in this story and is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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