Apple (AAPL) to Announce Plans for Its $100 Billion in Cash, Tomorrow

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will answer a question that has nagged its investors for years — what will the company do with its cash? CEO and founder Steve Jobs refused to address the question. New CEO Tim Cook and Apple’s board have decided that shareholders deserve to have something done beyond the balance in instruments which yield nearly nothing.

Apple will make an announcement about the cash at 9 AM EST tomorrow.

WHAT: 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. Apple will not be providing an update on the current quarter nor will any topics be discussed other than cash.

WHERE: Via conference call. The dial-in number for press is (877) 616-0063 (toll-free) or (719) 219-0041. Please enter confirmation code 592016.

WHEN: Monday, March 19, 2012 at 6:00 a.m. PDT/9:00 a.m. EDT

The traditional options would be to buy back shares, set a dividend, or both. Many large tech companies have offered dividends has their sales have slowed. But, Apple’s have not.

Apple could do what Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) did in  2004 which was to make a one-time dividend payment of $32 billion of its $50 billion in cash. Apple could easily afford a similar program. It rarely make acquisitions, and it will accumulate about $20 billion in cash in each of the next several quarter, if the recent past is any indication

Douglas A. McIntyre