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Higher dividend viewed as 'safety net' that could help turn around Apple stock

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
It's been exactly one year since Apple announced it would begin paying a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share. Now, in light of the company's recent stock woes, calls for Apple to increase that dividend are growing.

Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets outlined on Tuesday his suggestions for what Apple could do to boost its stock price. Unlike some analysts who have become bearish on Apple in light of the stock's recent struggles, White remains optimistic with an $888 price target that's nearly double the company's current share value.

Asymco
Apple's growing cash, cash equivalents, and securities, via Asymco.


His plan starts with a larger cash distribution that he believes would create a "safety net" around Apple's stock. In what he referred to as "phase one," he believes Apple should increase its quarterly dividend to between $3.75 and $5.00 per share.

"At the same time, Apple has plenty of room to ramp up the stock repurchase program to as high as $100 billion as part of a five-year initiative," he said. "If debt is part of the equation, investors will be more than happy to see Apple assume leverage to pay out more cash."

For "phase two" of White's proposal to turn AAPL stock around, he believes the company must "put a trough in its profit cycle." He expects that to come in the current quarter, where he is projecting a 19 percent year over year decline before returning to positive territory in the following quarter.

Finally, "phase three" calls for Apple to "open up new growth opportunities." White cited markets where the company is currently missing out, such as low-end smartphones and a partnership with the world's largest carrier, China Mobile, as potential examples.

In addition, he also believes Apple should enter into totally new product categories, including a full-fledged Apple television set and a smart watch for added growth.

White has been a vocal proponent of Apple boosting its dividend payout in recent weeks. Earlier this month he said he believes the "timing could be right" for Apple to announce a larger dividend, considering that the company's annual shareholder meeting has just concluded, and a push for preferred share stock from hedge fund manager David Einhorn has faded away.

Discussion of a dividend has also grown as Apple's cash pile continues to amass, reaching $137 billion at the end of the previous quarter. One new projection this week found that Apple's cash and investments could reach $170 billion this year.
post #2 of 86
There they go again. Yanking the chain for more dividends. This is what happens when you allow the dividend camel to get a nose in the cash tent. They are relentless.

Just do a massive share repurchase to keep as treasury stock, and get on with it. Apart from a myriad other pluses, it'll also clean out the stables, allowing all those who have a negative view of Apple to sell and get out.
post #3 of 86
Hello, Apple announced dividend increase, it was in my local rag this morning. Wake up, AI.
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post #4 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Hello, Apple announced dividend increase, it was in my local rag this morning. Wake up, AI.

I can't find any actual statement from Tim yet. Has it happened yet?
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #5 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Hello, Apple announced dividend increase, it was in my local rag this morning. Wake up, AI.

What are you talking about? Which 'local rag'? Cite?

post #6 of 86

I own aapl stocks but I DO NOT want dividend. Dividend is just to please the shareholders on the short term basis and drain the company's cash.

 

LISTEN TO Warren Buffett.  Do the STOCK BUYBACKS on a bigger scale, acquisitions and innovate!

post #7 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Hello, Apple announced dividend increase, it was in my local rag this morning. Wake up, AI.

Nothing on Google News about this. I don't understand how increasing the dividend is supposed to affect investor behavior. AAPL stock typically changes by $5 per day. How would a quarterly dividend of $5 change investor behavior? I think this is all just Wall Street pundits foaming at the mouth.
post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I can't find any actual statement from Tim yet. Has it happened yet?

No. Apple's official SEC documents say nothing about it.

What he may be referring to is this piece. Just more of the same nonsense from the analysts:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-18/apple-seen-raising-dividend-more-than-50-to-16-billion.html
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post #9 of 86

My bad. Wife read me the story making it sound like it happened. When I checked it was just quoting a Bloomberg story saying they "probably" will boost it by 50%. 

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post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by helicopterben View Post

I own aapl stocks but I DO NOT want dividend. Dividend is just to please the shareholders on the short term basis and drain the company's cash.

 

LISTEN TO Warren Buffett.  Do the STOCK BUYBACKS on a bigger scale, acquisitions and innovate!

Agreed. Dividend is nothing but losing shareholders money (because of double taxation, and transaction costs).

 

Apple should buy back shares, because they are heavily undervalued.

post #11 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

My bad. Wife read me the story making it sound like it happened. When I checked it was just quoting a Bloomberg story saying they "probably" will boost it by 50%. 

Ah got it. It's simply quoting an average of the estimates of six idio..... er, analysts.

post #12 of 86

I think it is clear now. Wall Street want Apple money and try to manipulate it. 

post #13 of 86

As a non-investor (in anything) could someone tell me why Apple needs to worry about the stock price? I mean it's not as if they need the cash, so if the stock crashed to $10 then how would that affect Apple?

 

Microsoft's stock hasn't moved in ten years, and the effect on the company appears to be zilch. In fact, no one seems to give them any grief about it at all, so they're free to do whatever it is they're doing without any distraction.

post #14 of 86
Seems White is suggesting AAPL's management needs an epiphany or a change at the top. If AAPL released a special dividend last December like Wall Street expected -- and numerous companies did and were rewarded with loyalty for -- AAPL's stock wouldn't be in the doldrums it presently is.

Now let's see if Tim Cook can "grow some smarts" and do the right thing.
post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

As a non-investor (in anything) could someone tell me why Apple needs to worry about the stock price? I mean it's not as if they need the cash, so if the stock crashed to $10 then how would that affect Apple?

Microsoft's stock hasn't moved in ten years, and the effect on the company appears to be zilch. In fact, no one seems to give them any grief about it at all, so they're free to do whatever it is they're doing without any distraction.

You are mostly correct. A drop in share price has no DIRECT impact on the company unless it's planning to sell shares. However, there are some indirect effects that are important:

1. In most tech companies, stock options are an important part of the incentive package, especially for senior employees. Options only become valuable (usually) when share prices increase, so employees like to see rising share prices.

2. The entire "Apple is dying" or "Apple has lost its mojo" or "Apple no longer innovates" crap that is driving the stock down has an impact in the market place. Customers who see Apple in a positive light and see them as market leaders and innovators are more likely to buy their products. A false perception that Apple is doomed could scare customers away.

3. Similarly, a strong Apple is in a stronger negotiating position on acquisitions, purchasing, etc.
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post #16 of 86

Serious question: Why the hell would Apple want to turn around APPL stock? For what, exactly? Aren't things perfect (for Apple) as they are? Isn't Apple the most lucrative company in the world (right now)? Why would they change something related to their stock?

 

Wouldn't they want the exact opposite? Since they don't need anyone's help/money, wouldn't be better for shares to fall so they can buy enough to go private?

post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

As a non-investor (in anything) could someone tell me why Apple needs to worry about the stock price? I mean it's not as if they need the cash, so if the stock crashed to $10 then how would that affect Apple?

 

Microsoft's stock hasn't moved in ten years, and the effect on the company appears to be zilch. In fact, no one seems to give them any grief about it at all, so they're free to do whatever it is they're doing without any distraction.

The impact is usually indirect, and somewhat longer-term.

 

1) It could be huge de-motivator for employees whose compensation is dependent on options or stock grants if they were granted at higher prices. (Potentially an issue for Apple).

 

2) It increases your cost of capital, especially if you want to raise equity (directly) or debt (indirectly). (Not an issue for Apple).

 

3) If you need to raise new capital by issuing shares, you have to give away a larger slice of ownership, i.e., claim to future cash flows, to raise the same amount of money as when the share price is higher. (Not an issue for Apple).

 

4) If you have convertible or other types of mezzanine debt, lower stock prices could render the conversion option moot, forcing the company to raise new cash to pay principal. (Not an issue for Apple).

 

5) Wealth destruction on a massive scale -- which is what we have seen in the last 6 months, with well over $200B in shareholder wealth wiped out for Apple shareholders -- simply creates and perpetuates a negative view on a company's management, leading stakeholders to question, rightly or wrongly, their quality and competency on whole host of fronts! Just think of the views on Steve Ballmer here, for instance..... (Potentially an issue for Apple).

 

6) Negative investor sentiment invites activist investor attention (as has begun with Apple), simply wasting management's time and distracting them from the real things that they need to get done. The focus shifts heavily to financial engineering and nonsense related to managing investor clientele. (Potentially an issue for Apple).

 

and......

 

7) .... as jragosta points out above, higher stock price means a more 'valuable' currency with which to undertake acquisitions. (Not an issue for Apple, given the size of its cash hoard and any likely targets).

post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Serious question: Why the hell would Apple want to turn around APPL stock? For what, exactly? Aren't things perfect (for Apple) as they are? Isn't Apple the most lucrative company in the world (right now)? Why would they change something related to their stock?

 

Wouldn't they want the exact opposite? Since they don't need anyone's help/money, wouldn't be better for shares to fall so they can buy enough to go private?

Right, sure, why doesn't Tim Cook take AAPL private -- is that what you're suggesting? 

post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Serious question: Why the hell would Apple want to turn around APPL stock? For what, exactly? Aren't things perfect (for Apple) as they are? Isn't Apple the most lucrative company in the world (right now)? Why would they change something related to their stock?

 

Wouldn't they want the exact opposite? Since they don't need anyone's help/money, wouldn't be better for shares to fall so they can buy enough to go private?

Don't executives in Apple have shares? Don't they want to please shareholders, along with the average customers?

post #20 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Right, sure, why doesn't Tim Cook take AAPL private -- is that what you're suggesting? 

My questions were clear.

But yes, I would like that. People that understand 0 about how Apple operates (and has been doing since 98) shouldn't been allowed to own a single share of APPL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greendisease View Post

Don't executives in Apple have shares? Don't they want to please shareholders, along with the average customers?

 

There's other ways to pay/motivate executives in Apple. Being the ones changing the world is one of them.

Average costumers? They already do that, by providing the best products.

 

Shareholders? For what?

post #21 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Seems White is suggesting AAPL's management needs an epiphany or a change at the top. If AAPL released a special dividend last December like Wall Street expected -- and numerous companies did and were rewarded with loyalty for -- AAPL's stock wouldn't be in the doldrums it presently is.

Now let's see if Tim Cook can "grow some smarts" and do the right thing.

Eff WS. The price dropped due to Apple "missing" outrageous WS expectations based on rumors and innuendo.
post #22 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Right, sure, why doesn't Tim Cook take AAPL private -- is that what you're suggesting? 

But yes, I would like that. 

As has been pointed numerous times before in this Forum, it is simply not realistic for Apple to go private.

 

Apart from the issue of its size and scope, what will ensue would be the mother of all legal battles (just witness what's starting with Dell -- see, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324281004578354003145798658.html -- which would be miniscule in comparison).

 

A non-starter.

post #23 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Eff WS. The price dropped due to Apple "missing" outrageous WS expectations based on rumors and innuendo.

Then you should put your money where your mouth is, and buy. And hold.

post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Then you should put your money where your mouth is, and buy. And hold.

Well I did buy in 2005 and am still holding.
post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

There they go again. Yanking the chain for more dividends. This is what happens when you allow the dividend camel to get a nose in the cash tent. They are relentless.

Just do a massive share repurchase to keep as treasury stock, and get on with it. Apart from a myriad other pluses, it'll also clean out the stables, allowing all those who have a negative view of Apple to sell and get out.

 

Massive stock buybacks is a temporary thing.  A dividend will be more beneficial in the long term.  Also, buybacks doesnt bring the income funds in Apple. Apple is shifting from a growth stock to a value stock, and to do this you need to allow income funds to get in. 

 

Currently the yield support a price of around $350 (yield > 3%) in a zero growth scenario. If Apple can rise the dividends and still continu to pile up cash then they should do it. I am not very optimistic on the next earings... Its pretty clear we will get negative growth for at least the next 2 quarters, which will floor the stock at the yield level + whatever "hopes of growth" investors are willing to give Apple, which is not much. 

 

Apple is earning $44 per share per year. They are paying $10 / year in dividends.  IF it would not be for the offshore income, they could double the dividends to $20 and still add 24$ per year to the pile.  The problem is also negative growth, can Apple maintain that $44 for the next few years is the real question.


Edited by herbapou - 3/19/13 at 10:10am
post #26 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Well I did buy in 2005 and am still holding.

Did you enjoy the $270 bath you took in the last 6 months due to missed executions on Main Street and miscommunications with Wall Street? I didn't and I've been invested un AAPL a lot longer than you.

post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

As has been pointed numerous times before in this Forum, it is simply not realistic for Apple to go private.

 

Apart from the issue of its size and scope, what will ensue would be the mother of all legal battles (just witness what's starting with Dell -- see, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324281004578354003145798658.html -- which would be miniscule in comparison).

 

A non-starter.

Not realistic? They just have to miss one quarter, let digitimes and Murdock keep doing their jobs, and Baam. Enough money for 50%.

 

Witch legal battles and why?

post #28 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Did you enjoy the $270 bath you took in the last 6 months due to missed executions on Main Street and miscommunications with Wall Street? I didn't and I've been invested un AAPL a lot longer than you.

Nobody enjoys that loss but if you want Apple to be "loyal" to Wall Street, isn't it better for you to sell AAPL and buy GOOG or whatever? If you bought the stock before 2005 you get a lum sum profit already. Apple is not Apple today by pleasing Wall Street. I think that is the main point.

post #29 of 86
Quote:

Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

 

Also, buybacks doesnt bring the income funds in Apple. Apple is shifting from a growth stock to a value stock, and to do this you need to allow income funds to get in. 

What is your logic for why Apple needs to "bring the income funds"? I submit it's unnecessary, a complete waste of time, and your post is Exhibit A. (The "income" people just want more and more; it's precisely the types I am suggesting Apple does not want or need as an investor clientele).

 

What is your evidence -- based on actual, reported fundamentals, not self-referential and circular arguments like its P/E ratio, which could be the effect as much as the cause -- that Apple's growth has slowed? Relative to what/whom? 

post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Did you enjoy the $270 bath you took in the last 6 months due to missed executions on Main Street and miscommunications with Wall Street? I didn't and I've been invested un AAPL a lot longer than you.

That did suck, but I got in a 65ish, pre-split so I'm still way ahead.
post #31 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Not realistic? They just have to miss one quarter, let digitimes and Murdock keep doing their jobs, and Baam. Enough money for 50%.

 

Witch legal battles and why?

Did you even bother to read the link I posted? Can you not see the obvious analogy!?

 

As to your points about "one quarter", "Digitimes", "Murdock", "Baam" and "money for 50%" I have no clue what you're going on about. (And here, I thought you prefaced your original question with "Serious question"! 1rolleyes.gif)

post #32 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Well I did buy in 2005 and am still holding.

Did you enjoy the $270 bath you took in the last 6 months due to missed executions on Main Street and miscommunications with Wall Street? I didn't and I've been invested un AAPL a lot longer than you.

It's only a "bath" if you had to sell.

 

If so, I feel badly for you.

post #33 of 86
If the analysts really want to see the stock value improve its simple. They need to just Sierra Tango Foxtrot Uniform about what Apple might release, should release etc.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #34 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Did you even bother to read the link I posted? Can you not see the obvious analogy!?

 

As to your points about "one quarter", "Digitimes", "Murdock", "Baam" and "money for 50%" I have no clue what you're going on about. (And here, I thought you prefaced your original question with "Serious question"! 1rolleyes.gif)

1º the link did not work.

2º -miss expectations for the quarter-let the round of negative rumors continue-let the owner of WSJ keep spreading FUD and the stock collapses. Then, Apple has enough money to go private. 

post #35 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

My questions were clear.
But yes, I would like that. People that understand 0 about how Apple operates (and has been doing since 98) shouldn't been allowed to own a single share of APPL.
There's other ways to pay/motivate executives in Apple. Being the ones changing the world is one of them.
Average costumers? They already do that, by providing the best products.

Shareholders? For what?

That is, of course, nonsense.

First, the possibility of raising well in excess of $500 B to takeover the company is remote. If they did, it would be with a bunch of financers, so management would be complex. Finally, even if they pulled it of, it eliminates any possibility for average people to invest and make money in the company. I believe in Apple for the long run and have quite a bit. Your logic makes no sense. One of the following must be true:
1. You think Apple is a good investment. If so, losing the ability to invest would not be a good thing.
2. You think Apple is NOT a good investment. If so, you simply don't invest.

Wishing for it to go private is illogical.
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Massive stock buybacks is a temporary thing.  A dividend will be more beneficial in the long term.  Also, buybacks doesnt bring the income funds in Apple. Apple is shifting from a growth stock to a value stock, and to do this you need to allow income funds to get in. 

Nonsense. Dividends go on only as long as the company wants them to go on. A stock buyback has a permanent effect of reducing the number of shares. No matter what the earnings, they are divided by a smaller number of shares.

While dividends could get income funds interested, buying back shares gets the value funds interested. It's a wash.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What is your logic for why Apple needs to "bring the income funds"? I submit it's unnecessary, a complete waste of time, and your post is Exhibit A. (The "income" people just want more and more; it's precisely the types I am suggesting Apple does not want or need as an investor clientele).

What is your evidence -- based on actual, reported fundamentals, not self-referential and circular arguments like its P/E ratio, which could be the effect as much as the cause -- that Apple's growth has slowed? Relative to what/whom? 

I agree. Apple needs long term investors. I think their current institutional ownership is far too high. Individuals are generally not going to trade a stock as frequently or as quickly as institutions, nor are they as likely to play year-end games. A 10:1 stock split would go a long way toward solving this problem.
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post #36 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


That is, of course, nonsense.

First, the possibility of raising well in excess of $500 B to takeover the company is remote. If they did, it would be with a bunch of financers, so management would be complex. Finally, even if they pulled it of, it eliminates any possibility for average people to invest and make money in the company. I believe in Apple for the long run and have quite a bit. Your logic makes no sense. One of the following must be true:
1. You think Apple is a good investment. If so, losing the ability to invest would not be a good thing.
2. You think Apple is NOT a good investment. If so, you simply don't invest.

Wishing for it to go private is illogical.
Nonsense. Dividends go on only as long as the company wants them to go on. A stock buyback has a permanent effect of reducing the number of shares. No matter what the earnings, they are divided by a smaller number of shares.

While dividends could get income funds interested, buying back shares gets the value funds interested. It's a wash.
I agree. Apple needs long term investors. I think their current institutional ownership is far too high. Individuals are generally not going to trade a stock as frequently or as quickly as institutions, nor are they as likely to play year-end games. A 10:1 stock split would go a long way toward solving this problem.

All the bad news are related to the stock/ways to manipulate it and how APPL has been working. that's why i wish that.

post #37 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

All the bad news are related to the stock/ways to manipulate it and how APPL has been working. that's why i wish that.

It still makes no sense. If you don't want to pay attention to stock manipulation, you simply don't buy the stock. No need for it to be taken private - and going private would do you absolutely no good.
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post #38 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What is your logic for why Apple needs to "bring the income funds"? I submit it's unnecessary, a complete waste of time, and your post is Exhibit A. (The "income" people just want more and more; it's precisely the types I am suggesting Apple does not want or need as an investor clientele).

 

What is your evidence -- based on actual, reported fundamentals, not self-referential and circular arguments like its P/E ratio, which could be the effect as much as the cause -- that Apple's growth has slowed? Relative to what/whom? 

 

1. Apple is shiftting from growth ownership to value ownership. This makes hedge funds dump Apple in favor of something else. Apple has a huge market cap, which make it reach a point where everyone who can own it already does, which in turn stall the stock price. A yield allow more "funds" to be able to hold some Apple.

Reference: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-21/hedge-funds-boost-stock-bets-to-07-high-goldman-says.html

 

2. If you cant see apple yoy growth decelation to a complete halt I dont know what to tell you. Look at the YoY EPS numbers and reduce margins. The reduction in margins is eating up the increase in revenu so the net results is zero EPS growth.

post #39 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

 

1. Apple is shiftting from growth ownership to value ownership. This makes hedge funds dump Apple in favor of something else. Apple has a huge market cap, which make it reach a point where everyone who can own it already does, which in turn stall the stock price. A yield allow more "funds" to be able to hold some Apple.

Reference: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-21/hedge-funds-boost-stock-bets-to-07-high-goldman-says.html

 

2. If you cant see apple yoy growth decelation to a complete halt I dont know what to tell you. Look at the YoY EPS numbers and reduce margins. The reduction in margins is eating up the increase in revenu so the net results is zero EPS growth.

That only happens when they introduce new products, like the ton of products they introduced.

 

Margins will grow, like they always do. But even if growth was negative, the stock price still is too low based on any reasonable metric.

post #40 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

Did you enjoy the $270 bath you took in the last 6 months due to missed executions on Main Street and miscommunications with Wall Street? I didn't and I've been invested un AAPL a lot longer than you.

Did you enjoy the $270 rise before the fall based on miscommunications from the same Wall Street analysts?
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