Apple CEO to forgo $75M dividend

Tim Cook is looking to bank a lot of good will with his $2.65-a-share dividend

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
May 25, 2012
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It appears that Apple CEO Tim Cook wants to make clear that Apple employees and long-term shareholders should be getting the gravy he, otherwise would have collected. In a regulatory filing Thursday, Cook stated that he would forgo around $75 million in dividend payments he otherwise would have revived for the 1.125 million stock awards is set to get over the next several years.

Other employees will be eligible to collect the $2.65- a-share quarterly dividend on restricted stock, the same payout that was announced in March for shareholders.

Apple shares (NASDAQ:APPL) opened Friday morning, down 0.36% at $563.30.

This decision, to let employees collect the equivalent of a dividend on stock awards that haven’t vested is not a common approach, since less than half of the companies on the Nasdaq-100 Index pay a dividend.

Cook, who has been at the Apple helm since Steve Jobs left the company, seems to be putting his own, charitable stamp on the Cupertino company. 

The filing stated: “At Mr. Cook’s request, none of his restricted stock units will participate in dividend equivalents. Assuming a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share over the vesting periods of his 1.125 million outstanding restricted stock units, Mr. Cook will forego approximately $75 million in dividend equivalent value.”

Last month when the company released its quarterly earnings report, it was clear that Apple had not yet plateaued. 

Apple sold more than 3 million new iPads during the product’s first weekend in stores. That was at least triple the number of iPad 2 tablets that analysts estimated the company sold during that product’s opening weekend last year. While breaking the previous releases' record is now an expected move, the fact that it is triple is astounding and shows that there is no slowing rate at which people are snapping up these amazing screens.

The new iPad, released in March, offered the best display screen in the market, a better camera, a faster processor and support from AT&T and Verizon’s LTE network.

But it also seemed that the Apple shares were going to take a while to get back to the point they were earlier this year when they broke the $600 mark.

Analysts all agree, however, that it is only a matter of time before this tech giant does re-enter the $600 club.

While Cook is clearly handing over substantial chunk of compensation, by no means, is going to feel a pinch in his wallet, but he will feel a great deal of good will from Apple stockholders that have been looking for more that the company can offer back to the people that believe in the business so much.

It will be interesting to see if any other CEOs will follow suit in order to boost company moral and start a trend -- but I'm not going to hold my breath on that one.

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