Apple Investors Vent on Dividends, but What's Next?
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple(AAPL) avoided mentioning a potential dividend at its shareholder meeting on Thursday, despite the company's ever-growing cash haul. With nearly $100 billion in cash on its balance sheet, calls for Apple to share some of its wealth with shareholders are reaching fever pitch.
Many commenters and tweeters on TheStreet's blog of Apple 's shareholder meeting were clamoring for a dividend announcement. "There will be some news today IMO about div.......there have been too many comments recently
There has been plenty of talk that a dividend could spur institutional investment in Apple. In a research note released on Friday JP Morgan noted that Apple's stock remains underowned institutionally. "Of the 282 mutual funds indexed to the Russell 1000, a surprising 40% do not have Apple as a top 10 holding - this despite the fact that Apple is the largest stock in the Russell 1000," explained JP Morgan analyst Thomas Lee.
There's clearly plenty of appetite for Apple to rethink its cash strategy, as evidenced by a commenter called 'p' on TheStreet's Live Blog, who urged Apple CEO Tim Cook to be more forthcoming on the dividend issue.
In a recent poll conducted by TheStreet, some 70% of respondents said that Apple should start paying a dividend again. The tech bellwether made its last dividend payment in 1995.
However, the dividend brouhaha poses the question: "Do Apple shareholders have a legal right to the cash, and could they sue Apple to get it?"