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If the analysts are correct, then Tuesday will be an auspicious day in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) history. One full calendar year will have passed since CEO Tim Cook reinstated a 2.4 percent dividend on the company’s stock, and word on the street is that shareholders will be given a reward for holding on to shares that have declined more than 25 percent in value since.
The average estimate of six analysts polled by Bloomberg puts a probable dividend increase of 56 percent on the table, hiking the yield up to about 3.7 percent, or $4.14 per share. At that rate, Apple would boast a dividend higher than 86 percent of the companies on the S&P index. The very idea of such a tremendous payout had shares up as much as 2.7 percent on the eve of the anniversary.
While often vehemently divided over the company, analysts and investors have both rallied behind the idea that Apple needs to do something with its $137 billion cash-and-investment war chest. Most proposals have been shot down so far — iPrefs, awkward acquisitions, bailing out Cyprus — and the consensus expectation is that if the company does not tip its hat to shareholders soon, it could face harsh selling pressure…
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