Why Apple Shareholders Should Hope for Sell-Off
NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Apple's(AAPL) announcement of a share repurchasing program means that long-term holders of the stock shouldn't mind if its recent spectacular run ends in a sell-off soon. Actually, they should hope that it does.
When I purchased shares of Apple last fall, I wasn't betting that the stock would be up 60% just six months later. Rather, I was investing in the accuracy of two observations I was making at the time.
First, I thought stock market prices were depressed due to a variety of short-sighted concerns, and Apple shares were under pressure because of the untimely death of the company's visionary leader, Steve Jobs. The company's stock price, at under 10 times Wall Street's earnings forecast for the year to come, looked cheap.
|Apple CEO Tim Cook|
Second, even in the absence of Steve Jobs, I thought Apple was poised to become a much larger and more valuable company over the course of the next decade. Moreover, I suspected that without Jobs, Apple would be more likely to consider returning some of its accumulated cash directly to shareholders. Therefore, Apple's common stockholders faced the enticing prospect of enjoying stock price appreciation over time as well as income in the form of dividends.
Now, Apple shares are more expensive, but its earnings are still growing rapidly and nothing has transpired that changes my fundamental, long-term view of the company in any way. On Monday, the company confirmed that it's taking steps to start returning some of its cash bounty directly to shareholders by spending about $45 billion over the next three years on a quarterly dividend and share repurchases.