Apple Inc. (AAPL) resumed its dividend payments in 2012 after a 17-year hiatus. At the end of its fiscal year 2011, it had accumulated cash and cash equivalents of over $25 billion. That cash hoard grew to $35 billion by the end of fiscal year 2021.
Since 2012, Apple has seen a steady rise in revenue and earnings, allowing it to increase annual dividends. As of Q1 2022, it was paying a $0.22 per share quarterly dividend, which gave the stock a 0.55% dividend yield.
- Tech stocks do not always pay a dividend but as Apple, Inc. has matured, it has become a reliable dividend stock.
- Dividend growth models can be used to help value stocks in the market.
- As of Q1 2022, Apple's dividend yield was 0.55%.
- During the first quarter of 2022, Apple paid a $0.22 per share dividend—this was a 7% increase from the $0.205 per share dividend paid in the first quarter of 2021.
- Apple's quarterly dividend has grown by an annualized rate of 9.1% from the second quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2022.
Apple's dividends paid totaled $14.1 billion for the fiscal year 2020 and $14.4 billion in 2021. The net income for 2020 was $57.4 billion, which put the dividend payout ratio at 25% for 2020. In 2021, the payout ratio was 15.2% based on $94.7 billion in net income. For 2018 and 2019, the dividend payout ratio was 26% and 23%, respectively.
For the past several years, Apple's dividend payout ratio has stayed relatively steady. In the meantime, its cash hoard of cash and cash equivalents remains relatively high at $35 billion as of the end of FY 2021.
Is Apple's Dividend Low?
Apple's dividend isn't low when compared to dividends paid by other companies in the tech sector. What's more, it's common for growth companies, which Apple is still considered, to reinvest more cash back into the company instead of paying higher dividends.
While dividend payout is a measure of financial strength often used in fundamental analysis of stock investments, the dividend yield is more useful for investors with an overwhelming goal of receiving investment dividends.
For dividend investors, stock price appreciation is usually a secondary priority to the dividend income. A stock's dividend yield is the annual dividend divided by the stock's trading price. Apple's annual dividend in 2021 was $0.88 ($0.22 paid quarterly). Based on Apple's stock price as of March 1, 2022 of around $163 per share, the dividend yield is approximately 0.50%.
Even though Apple's annual dividends have consistently increased in the years after the company's 2012 dividend reinstatement, its stock has—at times—risen at much faster rates, potentially resulting in its dividend yield being less competitive for investors interested in dividend income.
At just around 0.5%, Apple's dividend yield may seem relatively low. However, Apple is still considered to be a growth company. Therefore, it reinvests its retained earnings into developing new projects, acquiring companies, and other growth opportunities. Indeed many tech stocks, and growth stocks in general, do not pay any dividends.
For most companies, a dividend cut is an exception, rather than the norm. Ideally, companies increase their dividends over time, assuming their revenue and earnings growth can support it.
Apple's quarterly dividend paid during the first quarter of 2022 was $0.22, a 7% increase from the $0.205 paid during the first quarter of 2021.
During the second quarter of 2016, Apple paid a split-adjusted quarterly dividend of $0.1425, suggesting a 9.1% annualized growth rate in Apple's quarterly dividend over the last five years. For the fiscal year 2018, Apple paid a split-adjusted annual dividend of $0.68. For 2019, its annual dividend was $0.75, and in 2020 it was $0.795. Its annual dividend grew by 10.3% from 2018 to 2019, and 10.6% from 2019 to 2020.
|AAPL Dividend History (from August 2014)|
|Ex/EFF DATE||CASH AMOUNT||DECLARATION DATE||RECORD DATE||PAYMENT DATE|
Does Apple Pay a Dividend?
Yes, AAPL has paid a quarterly dividend since 2012. The company also paid a quarterly dividend from November 1988 to November 1995 before suspending it for seventeen years.
How Often Does Apple Stock Pay a Dividend?
Apple stock pays a dividend four times a year. Its quarterly dividend has been payable during February, May, August, and November of each year.
Why Is Apple’s Dividend So Low?
For a high-tech growth company, Apple's dividend is not really that low. Alphabet (Google), for example, does not pay any dividend. Nor do Meta (Facebook), Tesla, or Netflix. Some comparable larger, mature tech companies also pay low dividends, such as Nvidia (0.16% dividend yield) and Microsoft (0.83% dividend yield). Instead of paying higher dividends, Apple and these companies use retained earnings to reinvest in the company and its growth opportunities.
Apple. "2021 Form 10-K."
Apple. "Dividend History."
Apple. "Apple Reports Second Quarter Results."
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "FORM 10-K AAPL 2020."
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Form 10-K AAPL 2018."
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. "Form 10-K AAPL 2019."