As thorny financial problems go, it’s not the worst we’ve heard of recently. Business news source International Business Times is pondering what Apple is going to do with a cash stockpile of US$81 billion.
The article points out that the cash hoard, a third of which is held in the US, allows Apple to pay out a significant stock dividend. It also notes that Robert Iger, President and CEO of Walt Disney Co. has recently joined Apple’s board and is serving on the audit committee.
Based on reports by an analyst at Barclays Capital, Ben Reitzes, the article proposes that Apple’s board could take a different approach to its cash strategy in 2012 and attract more value shareholders. According to the article, Reitzes believes that consistent buybacks over time would be a better option than an accelerated buyback or a special dividend.
Article author Balasubramanyam Seshan backed up this view by pointing out Iger’s past propensity for consistent buybacks at Disney, as well as a more recent dividend increase.
“Apple’s valuation is attractive and that shares can benefit from strong iPad and iPhone demand, Mac share gains, international expansion and new innovations,” Reitzes was quoted. “We believe Apple deserves a higher multiple versus the group given our view that it is the best growth story in IT hardware over the long term.”