If you’re considering investing in Apple, you’ll want to know all you can about the Apple dividend date so you can make an informed decision. Apple dividends can substantially boost this powerful company’s shares, so your investment can pay off handsomely.
What Is the Apple Dividend Date?
The Apple dividend date is the scheduled payout of funds to the company’s shareholders. While some companies pay annual or monthly dividends, most companies in the United States pay quarterly dividends. Shareholders receive dividends depending on the amount of stock they hold. For example, if you hold 100 shares of stock in a company and the dividend rate is 0.35 cents, you will receive a cash payment of $35. Stockholders can attend the company’s annual shareholder meeting, held in February or March, but advance registration is required.
History of Apple Dividend Payments
Apple CEO Steve Jobs was famously against shareholder dividends. In fact, the company paid no dividends when Jobs led the company from 1997 to 2012. Jobs cited the flexibility and security of having more than $100 billion in cash holdings.
In 2012, Apple announced that it would pay shareholder dividends for the first time since 1995, in response to the dramatic success of its iPhone, iPad and iPod products. Then-CEO Tim Cook reported at the time that the company had strategically invested funds in research, development, and innovation, freeing profits with which to reward loyal shareholders. The Cult of Mac blog calculated that an investor would have to have about a million shares of Apple stock to earn the 2012 minimum wage in dividends.
Another factor contributing to the success of the Apple dividend program has been the company’s introduction of stock buybacks. Since September 2013, Apple has reduced the supply of its stock on the market by 5.4%. This increases the price of the stock by limiting supply in response to investor demand. It also enables the company to boost the size of its dividend payments each year. At $2.5 billion per quarter, the Apple dividend program is one of the largest among U.S. companies. Since the debut of the buyback program, dividend payments per share have increased by 84%.
Current Apple Dividend Rate
The most recent Apple dividend was announced on Jan. 28, 2020, recorded on Feb. 10, 2020, and payable to shareholders on Feb. 13, 2020, at a rate of 0.77 cents per share.
The recent history of the Apple dividend rate per share is as follows:
- 0.77 cents per share since April 30, 2019
- 0.73 cents per share from May 1, 2018, to January 29, 2019
- 0.63 cents per share from May 2, 2017, to February 1, 2018
- 0.57 cents per share from April 26, 2016, to January 31, 2017
- 0.52 cents per share from April 27, 2015, to January 26, 2016
- 0.47 cents per share from July 22, 2014, to January 27, 2015
- $3.29 per share in April 2014
- $3.05 per share from April 2013 to January 2014
- $2.65 per share from July 2012 to January 2013
- 0.12 cents per share from November 1990 to October 2005
- 0.11 cents per share from November 1989 to January 1990
- 0.10 cents per share from November 1988 to July 1989
- 0.08 cents per share from November 1987 to July 1988
- 0.07 cents per share from April to July 1987
In the second quarter of 2014, Apple offered a seven-for-one stock split in addition to the dividend payment. A two-for-one stock split in lieu of dividends was paid in April 1987, April 2000, and February 2005.
When Dividends Are Paid
Most companies that offer dividends pay quarterly, but others offer annual or even monthly dividends to their shareholders. Master-limited partnership and real estate investment trusts often pay dividends every 30 days. When a publicly traded company is in its growth phase, it must reinvest a significant portion of earnings to eventually reach large market cap status.
When this occurs, annual growth of up to 40% is no longer possible, so issuing dividends enables these companies to retain loyal shareholders. As of early 2018, Apple’s market cap of nearly $1 trillion made it the first company in history to reach these heights, with runner-up Coca-Cola coming in at more than 33% less.
Other companies provide a special one-time dividend payment in lieu of or in addition to regular dividends. Businesses in the United States are free to make their own determinations about how, when, and whether to pay shareholder dividends. However, global firms usually pay out dividends either once or twice a year.
If you invest in a company that pays dividends, you’ll need to know:
- The declaration date — the date the company’s board of directors reports that the firm will issue a dividend.
- The date of record — the date the company determines which shareholders are eligible for that specific dividend payment.
- The ex-dividend date — the date by which you must buy shares in the firm to receive a dividend payment.
- The payment date — the date a shareholder will actually receive the dividend.
When you’re searching for a stock to buy in hopes of receiving a dividend, narrow down your options by searching for an ex-dividend date that falls after the time period in which you plan to invest.
Stock Price vs. Dividend Price
Apple’s stock price was $22 per share when the company issued its initial public offering on December 12, 1980. When Apple announced its new dividend program in 2012, the company’s stock price was at an all-time high of $601.50 per share. This resulted in a share yield of 1.8%, which is the percentage of the company’s stock price paid in dividends. At the time, this was more than twice the average share yield for tech companies traded on the S&P 500, but less than the average share yield of 2.1% for all S&P 500 firms. By 2016, the company’s dividend yield reached 2.1%.
Many experts consider Apple a strong buy based on its yield, dividend growth, and buyback program. With a net value of $345.54 per share, we estimate that the dividends boost Apple shares in value by 15% over the actual stock price. What’s more, this value is projected to rise over $400 per share by 2023.
Benefits of Dividend Investing
Although dividends were less popular in the 1990s days of double-digit stock returns, today’s savvy investors know that buying shares in companies that pay dividends can result in significant profits. Few firms stop issuing dividends to shareholders once they begin doing so, so devoting some of your portfolio to dividends adds stability to balance your higher-risk, higher-return investments. A few companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Dover Corp., have been issuing shareholder dividends on a regular basis for more than five decades.
While Apple hasn’t reached that level of longevity yet, the ability to pay dividends strongly indicates the likelihood of a company’s continued success. Reinvesting dividends into more stock shares enables you to take advantage of compound interest.
Similar to a bond, a dividend stock offers the promise of regular income while also offering increased profits as the company continues to grow. However, keep in mind that dividends are not completely free of risk. For example, Wells Fargo decreased its dividend payments from 38 cents in 2008 to 5 cents in 2009 due to the banking financial crisis and bailouts.
Apple Services for Shareholders
Shareholders can access customer service through Computershare Investor Services, which is Apple’s transfer agent. You can request an account statement, report a change in your mailing address, request a missing or lost stock certificate, or transfer ownership of your shares. The company will also issue the tax forms associated with your Apple stocks. Investors in Apple can call Computershare toll-free at 877-360-5390 or visit the Computershare website. Assistance is also available from Apple’s investor relations department at 408-974-3123.
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