Apple are set to announce a grand plan for its ginormous $97bn cash kitty today.
“Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, and Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, will host a conference call to announce the outcome of the Company’s discussions concerning its cash balance,” Cupertino said yesterday.
The surprise cash plan-of-action announcement will take place Monday, March 19 at 9 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time in the US.
The billion dollar question on everybody’s lips was what Cupertino planned to do with a cash pile of close to $100bn ($97.6bn to be precise), announced in late January made up of cash reserves, investments and other interests.
Apple also recently announced first fiscal quarter 2012 net profit of a whopping $13.1bn. The cash reserves are believed to make Apple richer than the US government and certainly one of the most valuable companies in the world.
“We continue to be very disciplined with the cash and are not letting it burn a hole in our pocket,” Apple’s top money man, Peter Oppenheimer said, following January’s revelation.
Analysts expect the tech darling to consider a dividend or share buyback meaning Apple shareholders could be in for a nice surprise with the company not having paid a dividend since 2002 (thanks to Steve Jobs).
Issuing a dividend could lure even more investors into its den, although it appears there’s no shortage of Apple shareholder wanabees with share price topping the $600 mark for the first time in history late last week after launch of new iPad.
On the subject of dividends, Cook has said: “I have said since becoming CEO that I am not religious about this.”
“We’re in very active discussions at the board level about what we’re going to do with our money.”
Read: Hey Apple, How WILL You Spend $100Bn?
And this record $600.01 share price comes less than 5 weeks after Cupertino’s shares hit the $500 milestone.
Whatever the plan is, Apple won’t be losing the plot and going on a mad spending spree, Chief Cook also previously warned:
“We spend our money like it’s our last penny. I think that shareholders want that. We’re not going to have a toga party or do something outlandish.”
But with profits like this the skies the limit.
The only purchase it has made of late was an Israeli flash memory company, which Cupertino is believed to have paid between $400 million and $500m for.
“Apple will not be providing an update on the current quarter nor will any topics be discussed other than cash,” yesterday’s announcement also stated.