Sharing the wealth: Apple to pay dividend to investors on August 16

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Good news for Apple’s investors: the company revealed today in its third-quarter earnings that its previously-announced dividend will be paid out to investors on August 16, 2012.

This is the first time the company has paid a dividend to its shareholders since 1995. Apple announced the $2.65 per per share dividend offering back in March, which, along with a $10 billion stock buyback, was a way for the company to lighten the load of its $100 billion cash war chest. Apple needed to do something with its cash to appease investors, some of whom were worried the company wasn’t properly taking care of its shareholders.  The company said it planned to spend $45 billion of its cash over the next three years on these plans.

Apple will be paying out the dividend to investors on record by the close of business on August 13, 2012. The company hasn’t offered dividends to investors since 1995.

While investors will certainly appreciate getting some sort of payout, the method has been criticized because investors also have to pay taxes on the dividends. It’s also worth noting that Apple will only be using its domestic cash stockpile for the dividend and stock buyback. If the company used cash from its overseas reserves, it would end up owing the U.S. government a healthy amount of taxes.

“We have used some of our cash to make great investments in our business through increased research and development, acquisitions, new retail store openings, strategic prepayments and capital expenditures in our supply chain, and building out our infrastructure. You’ll see more of all of these in the future,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement back in March. “Even with these investments, we can maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business. So we are going to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program.”

Apple stock was down almost 5 percent at $571.55 in after hours trading at the time of this post — likely because investors  were disappointed the company missed analyst expectations.