Apple says that, by December 2015, it will translate to an average rate of $30 billion per year from the time of the first dividend payments in August 2012.
The program includes a massive increase in Apple's share repurchase program--from $10 billion last year to $60 billion now. Apple says it's "the largest single share repurchase authorization in history." The company also says it expects to use $1 billion per year to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.
Apple says further that it will increase its quarterly dividend by 15 percent, declaring a dividend of $3.05 per common share payable on May 16, to shareholders of record by the close of business on May 13 of this year. The company says it now ranks "among the largest dividend payers in the world, with annual payments of about $11 billion."
Apple remained pleased with iCloud performance. The company reports that 300 million people use iCloud every day. Apple says that more than 800 apps are downloaded per second from its iOS App Store; year-over-year revenue from app sales doubled in the quarter.
On the retail side, Apple reported revenue of $5.2 billion for Apple Stores this quarter, up 19 percent over the year-ago quarter. The company credits strong iPhone and iPad sales for the increase. Total of 402 stores. 30 new stores open in fiscal 2013 and complete 20 store remodels.
Apple ended the quarter with $144.7 billion in cash, compared to $137.1 billion in the previous quarter.
For the third fiscal quarter this year, Apple is continuing its trend, started earlier this year, of providing its guidance with ranges. The company predicts revenue between $33.5 and $35.5 billion, with gross margin between 36 and 37 percent--which would be down slightly from its second quarter performance. The company predicts operating expenses between $3.85 billion and $3.95 billion. Apple no longer provides a forecast on earnings per share. In the third quarter of 2012, Apple reported $35 billion in revenue with earnings of $9.3 per share, indicating that the company expects to remain fairly flat year over year for the third quarter in 2013.
Editor Philip Michaels contributed to this report.
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