Does Apple Pay Dividends in 2024? AAPL Dividend History

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Does Apple Pay Dividends?

Yes, Apple (AAPL) pays dividends quarterly, in May, August, November, and February every year. The latest Microsoft dividend per share of $0.24 was declared on February 1, with the due payment on February 15, 2024.

So, how much does Apple usually pay? Will they ever increase their dividends? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about Apple stock dividends.

In April 2024, Apple had a market capitalization of about $2.653 trillion, which puts the company at the higher end of most tech companies, second only to Microsoft (MSFT).

At the time of writing, Apple’s shares were trading at $171.71.

Apple (AAPL) Market Cap History From 2001 to 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Apple is one of the most well-recognized tech companies in the world, part of the Magnificent Seven, which also includes Nvidia, Tesla, Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft.
  • Apple’s products range from consumer electronics, tech, software, and online services, with the iPhone, Macbook, and Apple Watch being some of its most famous products.
  • Apple pays a dividend quarterly, in February, May, August, and November every year.
  • The last cash dividend of $0.24 was paid on February 15, 2024, with the next one expected in May.
  • Apple has a relatively low dividend compared to other tech companies because it prefers share buybacks and reinvesting into the business rather than raising its dividends.

How Often Does Apple Pay a Dividend?

Now that you know Apple pays dividends, you must be wondering when Apple pays dividends.

Currently, the Apple stock dividend is paid four times a year in February, May, August, and November.

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The last Apple dividend was paid on February 15, 2024, and was a cash payment of $0.24 per share. This was announced on February 1, 2024, with an ex-dividend date of February 9, 2024.

The ex-dividend date is the cut-off date, after which new investors in the company cannot receive the current quarter’s dividend.

The next Apple dividend date will likely be announced in May, in line with the company’s current schedule. However, the exact payment date and amount have not yet been announced.

Why Is Apple’s Dividend So Low?

The Apple dividend is considered quite low among dividend-paying stocks for a number of reasons. One of them is that Apple prefers share repurchases to dividends.

Both share repurchases and dividends are ways of compensating investors for shares bought. However, they do so in very different ways.

While dividends are seen as an additional stream of passive income for several years, share buybacks are a more significant lump sum and typically occur much less frequently than dividends.

Additionally, share buybacks come under capital gains and, as such, are taxed more favorably than dividends. They also pull up the price of the remaining shares by reducing the total number of outstanding shares on the market.

As such, they are especially profitable for investors who own a high number of shares, who can choose to sell some back under the share repurchase program and watch the remaining shares appreciate.

Another key reason Apple dividends are relatively low is that as a growth company, it prefers to reinvest most of its profits and revenues into expanding the business and venturing into new territories, such as artificial intelligence.

As such, dividends are not given the same priority as reinvestment in the business.

Apple Revenue Growth History

However, in recent years, there have also been some grumbles that Apple could afford to increase its dividend or reward investors with a unique bumper dividend, but it chose not to.

Apple Dividend History

The history of Apple dividends has been long and varied.

Apple dividends first started in 1987, when the company announced a 2-for-1 stock split and a regular cash dividend in June 1987.

Since then, Apple has paid its dividends overwhelmingly in cash, with the occasional stock splits.

However, Apple has not been paying its dividends consistently, with breaks of several years between 1995 and June 2000 and between June 2000 and February 2005. There was also a significant gap between February 2005 and August 2012.

The first cash payment was a modest $0.06 per share in June 1987.

Apple (AAPL) Dividend History

Apple’s Dividend Yield

The dividend yield is a financial ratio that looks at the amount of dividends per share a company distributes yearly compared to its current share price.

Currently, the Apple dividend yield is 0.57%, which is considered lower than that of other major dividend-paying tech companies.

As such, if Apple is considered solely based on the dividend yield and dividend growth, it could fall short of a typical dividend company, veering more towards a growth company.

The dividend yield is a significant factor considered by most investors looking for dividend-paying stocks and relying upon them for steady income.

Although Apple indeed chooses to keep its dividends low and use its funds elsewhere, another reason for keeping a dividend yield low is AAPL stock’s rapid share price appreciation in the last few years.

Apple’s share price has grown from about $76 in January 2020 to approximately $171 on May 2, 2024, which is as a robust performance for a growth company.

Due to the share price increasing so rapidly but dividends growing at a much slower pace, the dividend yield is automatically compressed.

Apple’s Dividend Payout

The dividend payout ratio calculates the amount of earnings given out as dividends to investors compared to a company’s total net income.

As of December 2023, Apple’s dividend payout ratio was 0.11. This is considered exceptionally low, which can have both advantages and disadvantages.

A low dividend payout ratio could mean the company has plenty of space to raise its dividend payments later if it wants to, which investors see as a good thing. It can also indicate the company’s earnings are growing quickly.

On the other hand, some investors might consider a low payout ratio disappointing because they’re not getting the returns they expected from the stock. This could make primarily dividend-stock investors look elsewhere.

Over time, if a dividend-paying company does not increase its dividends by a satisfactory amount or issue special, one-off bumper dividends to reward and recognize investor patience and loyalty, investors might be disappointed.

Apple’s Dividend Growth

Although Apple’s dividend payment has seen considerable gaps, the company has been consistently raising its dividends over the years.

Having started with a cash payment of $0.06 per share in June 1987, Apple increased its dividend by one to two cents each year until 1990.

From 2012 to 2024, Apple’s stock dividends have steadily grown from $0.19 to $0.24.

Will Apple Ever Increase Its Dividend?

Given Apple’s dividend growth history in the last few years, it is very likely that the company will increase its dividends again.

This is likely to happen in May this year, with previous years also having seen dividend increases in May.

Dividend-paying companies risk losing investors and shareholders unless they can consistently raise their dividends.

This is due to the availability of other income-generating investments and assets now available, such as other dividend stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and bonds.

4 Tech Stocks That Pay Better Dividends

MicrosoftIBMAnalog DevicesQualcomm

Microsoft is another well-established tech giant and also part of the Magnificent Seven tech stocks. The company’s key products are computer hardware, software development, cloud computing, and consumer electronics, with Windows, Xbox, Microsoft 365, and Skype being some of the most recognizable products.

Microsoft pays dividends quarterly, in March, June, September, and December, with the latest one of $0.75 paid on March 12.

IBM is one of the biggest tech and industrial research companies in the world, specializing in automation, consulting, robotics, blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, computer hardware, and software.

The company pays dividends quarterly in March, June, September, and December. The latest dividend of $1.66 was paid on March p, 2024.

Analog Devices is a US-based semiconductor company that offers signal processing, data conversion, and power management technology.

The company pays dividends in March, June, September, and December. The latest dividend of $0.92 was paid on March 15, 2024.

Qualcomm is a telecommunications equipment company offering wireless technology services, semiconductors, and software.

The company pays dividends in March, June, September, and December. The latest dividend of $0.85 was paid on March 21, 2024.

Apple Profile

Apple is one of the most renowned tech and consumer electronics companies in the world today, part of the Magnificent Seven stocks, which also includes Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL), Tesla (TSLA), Nvidia (NVDA) and Meta (META).

Apart from the above products, it also provides online services and software. Some of its most famous products include the iPhone, MacBook, iPad, Vision Pro, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, whereas its most recognizable software applications and operating systems are iOS, iCloud, iTunes, and more.

Based in Cupertino, California, it was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Tim Cook is the company’s CEO, while Arthur Levinson is the chairman.

What Are Dividends?

Dividends are compensations made to owners or shareholders of the company, usually taken from its profits, as payment for holding a certain stock.

Dividends can be paid in a number of ways, such as stock, cash, and property. They are usually paid annually but can also be paid quarterly, half-yearly, and in some very rare cases, even monthly, depending on the company’s particular situation and strategy.

As dividends are usually taken from a company’s profits, in less favorable years with increased losses, dividends are usually slashed.

The exact dividend amount can also change from year to year, with some years seeing bumper dividends if the company has performed exceptionally well.

Dividends are calculated on a per-share basis, meaning that investors owning more company stock receive more dividends.

Why Are They Important to Investors?

Dividends are valuable to investors who rely on them as an additional source of income. They are also seen as a way of retaining and rewarding investors, especially those who have stuck with the company for a number of years without selling the stock.

Due to stock market volatility, there is often little guarantee that stocks could generate profits.

Investors can reinvest dividends into their portfolios or keep them aside as retirement or emergency funds.

Unlike regular income earned from employment or business, dividends are often taxed at a more attractive rate.

The Bottom Line

Apple regularly pays a quarterly dividend in February, May, August, and November. However, it has a relatively low dividend yield and dividend payout ratio, both due to the company choosing to reinvest back into the business, as well as its earnings and share price growing at an outsized pace.

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Indrabati Lahiri
Financial Writer & Editor
Indrabati Lahiri
Financial Writer & Editor

Indrabati has over four years of experience as a financial reporter and editor, covering business, commodities, and macroeconomics. While contributing to Techopedia, she’s currently working as a Business Reporter at Euronews. Her articles can be found in other online publications, including Capital.com and IBM, among others. Indrabati holds an MSc in Investment Banking and an MA in English.