Apple plans to give a third of its $137 billion cash hoard back to investors

Apple just reported that it now has $137 billion in cash, which represents almost one-third of its $455 billion market capitalization at the end of trading today. Considering that the stock is down more than 9% in after-market trading, that ratio is growing by the second.

On its conference call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said Apple would give back $45 billion to investors over the next three years through dividends and share buybacks.

Investors have long speculated over what Apple might do with its cash hoard, much of which is held outside the United States. One possibility is that Apple could make investments in US and foreign companies in order to avoid taxes on bringing that money back into the US.

Read the rest of our coverage from Apple’s first quarter earnings report:

Apple’s $54.5 billion quarter, in charts

Why Apple doesn’t care that iPads are cannibalizing sales of Macs

Apple CEO Tim Cook on rumors of slackening iPhone demand: They’re meaningless

No phablet for you, says Apple CEO Tim Cook

The four questions everyone is hoping Apple will answer today

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