Apple to buy back US$100b in stock; dividend increased 16%

Apple logo. Reuters

In the last quarter, insiders have sold 125,988 shares of company stock worth $21,336,201.

Sales of 52.2 million iPhones against a Wall Street target of 52.3 million was a comfort and up from 50.7 million a year ago, according to data from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Apple's shares dipped 5.8 percent over the past month after several reports said the Cupertino, California, company was cutting back on production of the iPhone X because of poor sales.

Revenue from that division surged to US$9.1bn, beating last year's figure of US$8.5bn and Wall Street forecasts of US$8.4bn.

San Francisco - Apple lavished cash on its shareholders like no company in history in the first three months of 2018 and it intends to keep doing so, making the iPhone maker's investors the clearest winners yet from 2017's sweeping USA corporate tax cuts.

Apple said that it had sold 52.2 million iPhones overall, slightly below analyst estimates of 52.5 million, according to market research firm FactSet. The company's services division which includes iCloud, App Store and Apple Music reported $9.1 billion in revenue. The company reported total quarterly revenue of $61.1 billion, a 16% increase from last quarter.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook offered a bullish outlook on the company, touting the company's product pipeline as the "best we've ever had" and championing good sales of the iPhone 10, a recently unveiled model whose $1,000 price tag has aroused worries about being too high.

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"I don't buy the view that the market is saturated", he said.

Shares of AMS, which provides the facial recognition technology used in Apple's iPhones, rose as much as 8 percent on Wednesday morning. Adding further, he said that for the time being it is ok for the company to embark on the buyout strategy but in the long run this strategy won't work. It is one of the company's fastest growing units.

So, in summary: Apple has a potentially great future business in wearables, it has an unbelievable current business with iPhones, and it has a nice steady recurring revenue business with services. He said that "because we're making all the right investments all around the company, it makes ideal sense for us not to keep the cash on our balance sheet but return it to investors".

As long as Apple continues to sell around the same number of devices each year - 217 million iPhones, more than 40 million iPads, and nearly 20 million Macs in fiscal 2017 - it can sell users of these devices a growing list of services that integrate tightly with the hardware.

Instead, Apple's smartphone revenue went up to $38 billion, a 14 percent increase. Another notable part of the latest financials is Apple's promise of $100 billion in additional stock buybacks, shoring up the share price. The firm now has more flexibility to spend its cash without risking high tax payments, after recent changes tot he tax law.

"We believe the availability of Apple Pay at major transit systems has been a key driver of adoption among commuters, and in March we launched Express Transit with Apple Pay in Beijing and Shanghai - the second and third largest transit systems in the world". He said that the world "only wins if China and the US win" and said he is optimistic that the two countries can work out their differences.

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