Apple 2.0

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Apple's yield hits 2.66% as shares plummet to 2011 levels

April 17, 2013: 11:37 AM ET

Waiting for Tim Cook to increase Apple's dividend yield? Today the market did it for you.

chart_ws_stock_appleinc_2013417111551_240xaFORTUNE -- There is no shortage of theories why Apple (AAPL) -- already at a 453-day low Tuesday -- fell another $28.13 in mid-day trading Wednesday to touch $398.11, wiping out all of 2012's gains.

Among the reasons we've heard:

  • Notes from Goldman Sachs and Lazard Capital predicting "below consensus guidance" for the June quarter next week when Apple reports its March quarter earning.
  • A warning by Cirrus Logic (CRUS), which makes chips for Apple, that its gross margins would go down due to a "decreased forecast for a high volume product."
  • A report by Jefferies' Peter Misek suggesting that all three of Apple's anticipated new iPhones -- the iPhone 5S, the low-cost iPhone and the iPhone 6 -- would be delayed.
  • A rush by investors to get out the door in case Apple delivers earnings next Tuesday that are even lower than Wall Street's lowered expectations.

Apple's market value has now dropped $288 billion since last September, which is greater than the gross national product of all but 34 countries.

There is, however, an upside to a down day like this, if you care to see it that way.

Investors who have been waiting for Tim Cook to raise Apple's dividend can take  comfort in the fact that the market has done it for them. At $398.11 a share, Apple's current dividend of $10.60 returns a yield of better than 2.66%.

Which these days, isn't bad.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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