8. $200 billion
What does Apple plan to do with that cash? Some of that money will be ploughed right back into its business for research and development and other corporate projects. However, most of Apple’s cash will be returned to shareholders. Last April, the company announced it would pay out $200 billion in dividends and stock buybacks by the end of March 2017. (Source: “Apple Expands Capital Return Program to $200 Billion,” Apple Investor Relations, April 27, 2015.)
Needless to say, this incredible profitably has translated into lucrative returns for shareholders. Since the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in 1980, AAPL stock has delivered a 9,072% return, excluding dividends. If you had invested $1,000 after the IPO, your position would be worth $90,072 today.
AAPL stock has delivered impressive returns, but an even better investment may have been an Apple computer itself. In 1976, the original “Apple-1” computer was priced at $666.66. But in 2014, a rare Apple-1 machine built in Steve Jobs’ garage was sold at auction for $905,000. (Source: “Record Bid! Early Apple Computer Sells for Nearly $1 Million,” Live Science, October 23, 2014.)