Apple Plans No Dividend or Buyback - Jobs

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-03-04 Print this article Print

CEO Steve Jobs tells shareholders there are no changes to its stock.

CUPERTINO, California (Reuters) - Apple Inc has no plans to declare a dividend or buy back stock, Chief Executive Steve Jobs told the annual meeting of shareholders on Tuesday, adding that iPhone sales were on track.

Jobs said he was confident that Apple would hit its 2008 sales target of 10 million iPhones, a figure which some analysts have questioned in the face of a weaker U.S. economy, and executives said the communications device would reach Asian markets this year.

But Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook was elusive on timing for selling into the key market of China.

"We will enter Asia with the iPhone in 2008 ... We will one day enter China, we're not saying when, and we will one day enter India," Cook said.

Jobs was asked if the company planned to start paying a dividend or initiate a stock buyback program. "At this time, we have no plans to do either," he told shareholders.

The company's stockpile of cash and short-term investments topped $18 billion at the end of last year, leading to speculation about how the maker of iPods, iPhones and Macintosh computers might spend some of its cash reserves.

Shares of Apple were up 57 cents at $122.30 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq.

Investors at the meeting took the opportunity to tell management that they wanted more of a say in how the company was run, passing a resolution in favor of an annual advisory vote by shareholders on executive compensation.

The proposal had been opposed by the board of directors. It urged the board to put up to shareholders a nonbinding resolution each year regarding pay of top executives.

(Reporting by Scott Hillis, writing by Peter Henderson, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)


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