Apple Doubles Quarterly Stock Dividend Investment

Along with earnings that hit US$43.6 billion, Apple reported on Tuesday that it is more than doubling its investment in returning capital to investors. The company is adding $55 billion to its shareholder returns, bringing the total up to $100 billion, and includes a 15 percent increase in the quarterly dividend.

Apple expands its capital investment programApple expands its capital investment program

The company said in a statement,

As part of this program, the Board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from the $10 billion level announced last year. This is the largest single share repurchase authorization in history and is expected to be executed by the end of calendar 2015.

The 15 percent dividend increase brings the quarterly payout to investors up to $3.05, and the company said it is one of the largest dividend payers in the world with annual payments hitting $11 billion.

Apple said it will take on some debt as part of its expanded capital program, which is significant news in that the company has operated fully debt free for years. The company isn't elaborating on the move yet. Presumably the math showed that it's cheaper to borrow money than to bring back some cash from over-seas accounts.

Apple reported sales at $43.6 billion for its second fiscal quarter of 2013, beating Wall Street's $42.49 billion estimate. The company sold 37.41 million iPhones, 19.5 million iPads, and just short of 4 million Macs during the quarter.

The company's earnings report is still underway, so be sure to check back with The Mac Observer for more news from the event.

Apple is trading after hours at $406.13, up 7.46 (1.87%).