SAN FRANCISCO – Apple is doling out more of its cash to shareholders and preparing to split its stock for the first time in nine years in an attempt to win back investors fretting about the iPhone maker’s slowing sales growth and pace of innovation.
The moves announced Wednesday as part of Apple’s fiscal second-quarter earnings report are aimed at boosting the company’s stock price, which has been hovering about 25 percent below the peak it reached in September 2012. Apple Inc. earmarked an additional $30 billion for buying back its stock through next year, bringing the total to $90 billion during that time frame.
The Cupertino, Calif., company also is raising its quarterly dividend 8 percent to $3.29 per share, up from $3.05 per share.
Although many analysts had been expecting Apple to distribute more money to shareholders, the stock split came as a surprise. After the seven-for-one split is completed June 9, the trading price of Apple’s shares will fall dramatically. Had the split occurred at Wednesday’s closing price of $524.75, the stock would probably begin trading at around $75.
Boeing 1Q earnings beat analysts’ guesses
Boeing’s increased rate of commercial jet manufacturing is starting to pay off for shareholders.
In the first three months of this year, 161 new airplanes rolled off the company’s assembly lines – more jets than the same period last year. That increased rate contributed to a $965 million profit for Chicago-based Boeing Co. posted in the first quarter.
The net income was actually down 12.7 percent from last year’s $1.1 billion first quarter profit, but that is because Boeing took a $330 million accounting write-off related to changes in its retirement plans. The company also noted that its 2013 earnings were inflated by a one-time research and development tax credit.
Net income per share dropped to $1.28 per share from $1.44 during last year’s first quarter. But adjusted to exclude the write-off, earnings were $1.76 per share, beating the estimate of $1.56 per share from Wall Street analysts surveyed by FactSet. Shares rose $2.38, or 1.9 percent, to $129.93 in midday trading.
The company reported $20.47 billion in revenue, more than the $20.15 billion expected by Wall Street. That’s up 8 percent from the $18.9 billion in revenue during the same period last year.