Apple to spend $45 billion over three years on dividends and share repurchases
However, with the co-founder now gone and the cash pile now worth over $100 billion, Apple's board has decided it can spend a proportion of the amount making its shareholders and staff very happy.
It's announced Apple will start awarding a quarterly dividend to investors, as well as spending $10 billion on a share repurchase scheme.
The total worth of these programs will be around $45 billion over a three year period.
However, with Apple generating $17.5 billion during its past holiday quarter, and $38 billion during its fiscal 2011, it will still have plenty of ammunition available for potential investments.
"We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You'll see more of all of these in the future," commented Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.
"Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program."
The first dividend, worth $2.65 will be awarded sometime during the fourth quarter of the company's fiscal 2012 year, beginning 1 July.
The share repurchase program will occur during the company's fiscal 2013 year, beginning 30 September. Shares will be repurchased over a three year period.
Apple said the primary objective would be to neutralise the "impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programs".