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Apple Cash Balance Conference Call on March 19th, 2012

[1:25 PM] Bryan: Thanks for joining us! We'll have reaction coverage throughout the day.
[1:24 PM] Dave: ...and that's a wrap! Short call, obviously set to end before the market opens. Thanks for following along with us!
[1:24 PM] Bryan: OK, that's it. It's over.
[1:24 PM] Bryan: This was the worst crop of analyst questions I've heard in a long, long time of covering these sorts of things.
[1:24 PM] Bryan: Another question asking if Apple is going to do something different in the future. Tim repeated for the 50th time what he's already said.
[1:22 PM] Bryan: Tim said that Apple can grow its cash and still have money left over, which is why we are here in the first place.
[1:21 PM] Bryan: She was essentially asking if Tim thought Apple would still have a nice cash stack at the end of three years.
[1:20 PM] Dave: Shannon Cross with Cross Research asked about Cook's comfort level with cash cushion. Cook: "Within the domestic cash, our first and foremost objective is, as it will always be, to make great products for the world."
[1:19 PM] Bryan: Peter said it was a mix of shareholder feedback and math.
[1:19 PM] Bryan: Shannon Cross with Cross Research asked for details on how Apple came to work out its plan.
[1:18 PM] Bryan: New question: Will Apple consider expanding its buyback plan. Peter didn't commit.
[1:17 PM] Bryan: Gene asked if Apple would announce new iPad launch weekend details. Tim said it was a great weekend but declined to offer details.
[1:15 PM] Dave: Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster asked if Apple would have a schedule for revisiting/revising the dividend. Tim Cook said there was no formal schedule, but they would continually re-examine it "as you would expect."
[1:15 PM] Bryan: He added that Apple has lobbied for a tax holiday to bring it home.
[1:15 PM] Bryan: Peter is repeating that Apple doesn't want to take the tax hit to repatriate that cash.
[1:14 PM] Bryan: Tim said earlier he didn't want to pay the tax to bring it back to the US.
[1:14 PM] Bryan: Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley up next. She's asking about the money that is overseas.
[1:13 PM] Dave: Cook: "Pipeline is full of great products [...] customers will love what we have coming."
[1:12 PM] Dave: Cook: "We do love to announce new products, we just don't do it during conference calls."
[1:12 PM] Bryan: In other words, Apple is only committing to what it is announcing today.
[1:12 PM] Bryan: First question is whether Apple will grow its dividend (see the earlier math). Peter repeated mantra that Apple will periodically review it.
[1:11 PM] Bryan: Peter stressed that Apple is confident of its future and the notion that the dividend doesn't threaten Apple's ability to grow.
[1:11 PM] Bryan: The buyback plan will begin in fiscal 2013, which starts on September 30 of this year.
[1:10 PM] Bryan: The dividend will begin "sometime in the fiscal 4th quarter." Q4 starts in July of this year.
[1:10 PM] Bryan: That's huge.
[1:10 PM] Bryan: Tim Cook's shares will not be paid a dividend. Tim owns several million shares of last year.
[1:09 PM] Bryan: Looking ahead and being silly, if Apple's cash generation fell to $12 billion per quarter, it could pay the dividend and still grow its hoard.
[1:09 PM] Dave: Aside from the obvious reasons, Oppenheimer also noted that this buyback will limit future dilution from Apple's employee equity programs.
[1:08 PM] Bryan: All of which makes sense. In December, Apple generated $16 billion. Today's plan would have pay out $2.5 billion of that.
[1:07 PM] Bryan: Tim stressed that Apple will have plenty of money to keep doing what it has been doing to make it so successful.
[1:07 PM] Dave: Cook and Oppenheimer both confirm $2.65 per share quarterly dividend and stock buyback program, as per their press release earlier this morning.
[1:07 PM] Bryan: The plan will be reviewed periodically.
[1:07 PM] Bryan: he said that a dividend will broaden Apple's shareholder base by opening up the stock to investors who look for dividends.
[1:06 PM] Bryan: He said that Apple has invested plenty of money, and that it will continue to do so. He said that Apple can maintain an extensive war chest and pay out a dividend, too.
[1:06 PM] Bryan: Turns out that all this success has led to a lot of cash piling up, according to Tim.
[1:04 PM] Bryan: Macs doing well, too. Note that this is all rehash from the December quarter.
[1:04 PM] Bryan: Tim said that the potential for iPhones is "enormous." "With the launch of the new iPad, it just keeps getting better."
[1:03 PM] Bryan: Tim says he is confident in Apple's future. No duh, eh? He is recapping the December quarter.
[1:02 PM] Bryan: No business updates for Apple will be discussed, according to the mod.
[1:02 PM] Bryan: Opening remarks from the moderator. Tim Cool and Peter Oppenheimer will be here for the event.
[1:01 PM] Bryan: The call is beginning.
[1:01 PM] Bryan: There is also a repurchase program of $10 billion.
[1:01 PM] Bryan: Quick details on the announcement: Apple will pay $2.65 quarterly dividend, which works out to about $2.47 billion per quarter.
[1:00 PM] Bryan: We were just told that the call is about to begin.
[1:00 PM] Bryan: Story posted with the information that Apple has announced a dividend and stock buyback program.
[12:23 PM] Bryan: Checking in from TMO Towers West.
[10:53 PM] Adam: We'll begin our live coverage here at 9:00 AM ET (6:00 AM PT)
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