Pundits were sure this was it. The big day when Apple would announce its first dividend since 1996. Right at the shareholder meeting. In fact, they had convinced just about everybody, everybody that is except the management.
You can't say you weren't warned. As CFO Peter Oppenheimer said as recently as January:
We are actively discussing the cash balance. And in the meantime, we're not letting it burn a hole in our pockets.
In its own way, maybe, it's a good thing. Too many times companies are eager to part with their capital. The annals of Wall Street are littered with those that have plundered themselves. Apple's just thinking differently. In fact, I'd say it's refreshing. What other exec group can keep their mitts off the loot so long in the face of so much pressure? Who can resist a million investors screaming for their piece of the pie?
Still, I have to admit it. All that cash is tantalizing, isn't it? Just sitting there. I don't want to sound greedy, but, hey, I've been a loyal card carrying shareholder. A very deserving fellow. So, let's see. $98 billion split in how many ways?