Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares continue to hover in the upper 120s - opening last Monday at $129.50 and closing Friday at $127.62. Shareholders will be the recipients of a record dividend pay out this Thursday (May 14) of $0.52 per share. Expect dividends to continue rising as the company expands its stock buy-back program, to which its board recently approved adding $50 billion.
Apple is swimming in cash and treating investors well with its stock repurchase program. A story emerged last week that the Cupertino giant has more cash than most U.S. corporations combined. That assessment excludes the financial, technology and medical sectors.
Statistics released by internet analytics firm, comScore show that Apple's U.S. market share continues to grow. The company now claims 42.6% of smartphones, a one percent increase over last quarter and a full 14% more than its biggest rival, Samsung, which lost a bit over a percent in the same time period.Market share outside of the U.S. continues to grow as well. According to research group Kantar WorldPanel, the iPhone gained 1.9% share in Europe during the last quarter and almost 9% in China.
If, for some reason, you are worried about Apple's future, take solace in the fact that the Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in the company last week. The country synonymous with anonymous bank accounts boosted its investment in Apple by 60%, according to SEC filings last week.
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In news that doesn't keep investors up at night, the European Commission may levy a 12.5 % tax (in Ireland) against the company that could result in back taxes of up to $19 billion.
Apple Pay gained more support last week, adding another 24 banks and credit unions to its ranks. Home Depot announced that it plans to support Apple Pay in the near future, which will make it the largest supporter of the mobile payment system.