Investors who have been eagerly waiting for those Apple dividend payments to start coming in are feeling giddy this morning. The giant technology company has announced that Apple (AAPL) shareholders will receive a $9.9 billion annual dividend, or $10.60 pers share. Mostly, this means a whole lot of rich people will be getting a great deal richer.

Apple is considered to be the world’s most valuable company, with more than $97.6 billion in cash and assets. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was resistant to the idea of issuing Apple dividends to investors. He preferred to keep the company’s excess cash on hand for more maneuverability in partnerships and acquisitions. Steve Jobs passed away in October after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

New CEO Tim Cook said the Apple dividends will have no effect on the company’s ability to negotiate or wield its formidable power in the business world. “These decisions will not close any doors for us,” he told reporters in a conference call about the Apple dividends announcement.

Apple announced the company will pay $2.65 per share in quarterly dividends beginning in July, which works out to $10.60 per share annually, or 1.8 percent of the current stock price. A $10 billion three-year share buyback program will be launched by Apple for the next fiscal year, which begins Sept. 30th.


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