At a meeting with Apple Inc. finance chief Peter Oppenheimer this year, investor Kishore Rao asked the company to tap its billions in cash to pay a dividend.
Oppenheimer had heard the request before and explained that Apple is keeping its powder dry for "strategic opportunities," without elaborating on what those could be, Rao said. The stock had almost doubled in the year before that meeting, and Oppenheimer argued Apple has been a good steward of its cash and investments, currently worth $76.2 billion.
The drumbeat to open that treasure chest may now grow louder following the Oct. 5 death of Steve Jobs, Apple's former chief executive officer.
"They don't need all that cash," said Keith Goddard, CEO of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Capital Advisors Inc., whose largest holding is Apple. "It won't change their growth rate to pay a dividend."Question: Who is in a better position to decide how to spend that $76.2 billion in cash: the company that earned it or the analyst who has done nothing but whine about it?
I'm sure that if Apple had listened to Keith Goddard's advice over the past five years, there would be no argument as to how best to distribute Apple's 76.2 billion in cash reserves because there would BE no 76.2 billion in cash reserves.