FORTUNE -- If you do a Google search for "Apple special dividend" today you might think Apple (AAPL) shareholders are about to win the lottery. Sample headlines:
Not so fast, says Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore. In a note to clients Monday he outlines the arguments in favor of a one-time cash outlay to shareholders before shooting them down.
Yes Apple has plenty of cash on hand ($121 billion now projected to grow to $210 billion by 2014). Yes the tax rate on dividends will likely rise from 15% to about 40% in January if the Bush tax cuts expire. Yes Apple has shown a new willingness under Tim Cook to return cash to shareholders. Yes Apple is getting a relatively low rate of return on its cash and marketable securities.
"However," he concludes, "despite the wishes of many investors, the probability of a special Apple dividend appears low as we believe the company is more focused on building a track record of predictable dividend growth (vs. one time lump payment) and share buybacks. Although a special dividend would be a big short-term positive development, it appears unlikely at this point in time as special dividends do not tend to have a lasting benefit to shareholders. Irrespective of its near term dividend policy, we think AAPL remains attractively valued."
Whitmore is reiterating his buy rating with an $800 per share price target.
Having missed the boat last quarter, Wall Street is taking a second look at China
FORTUNE -- I can count on one hand the number of Wall Street analysts whose estimates of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone sales last quarter came within 2 million units of the correct answer (35.1 million).
Most of them were so distracted by the predictable fall-off in Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) activations after Christmas that they missed the significance of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 30, 2012 11:00 AM ET
Independent analysts take the top 8 spots in our quarterly earnings smackdown
FORTUNE -- Neither side scored a clear victory this time around. The professional analysts as a group were far too cautious. And our expanded cadre of independents showed signs of irrational exuberance.
But the list at right, which ranks 57 Apple (AAPL) analysts by the accuracy of their fiscal Q2 2012 revenue and earnings estimates, shows that the independents have MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 25, 2012 7:12 AM ET
The estimates range from 26 to 44 million. The best analysts' consensus: 35 million.
The most important metric for Apple (AAPL) in the quarter that ended two weeks ago -- likely to account for more than half of the company's revenue for fiscal Q2 2012 -- is the number of iPhones it sold from Jan. 1 to Mar. 31.
We've polled 48 analysts -- evenly divided between professional and independent -- and the indies, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 16, 2012 5:00 AM ET
If tablets are computers, Apple's share of the global market now dwarfs its competitors
Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore came away from this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas unimpressed with what Apple's (AAPL) rivals had to offer in the way of tablet computers:
"2011 was supposed to be the year of the Android tablet. One year later, Android tablets have failed to meet expectations and for the most part have been MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 13, 2012 7:12 AM ET
New analysis suggests the payoff could be seven fold greater if it holds out for a win
In a note to clients issued Monday, Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore lists four possible outcomes of the patent wars being fought in courts around the world between Apple (AAPL) and the Google (GOOG) Android ecosystem:
1) settlement with per unit license fee paid to Apple;
2) a more favorable outcome where Apple handicaps Android's feature MORE
Apple has managed to eliminate the price premium while maintaining its profit margins
"We expect customers who do the math to opt for the iPhone," writes Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore in a note to clients Monday.
Moreover, he adds, so will customers who don't do the math.
Whitmore's analysis involves comparing the price, features and total cost of ownership of the refreshed iPhone 4S with its leading competitors.
At $199 with a two-year contract MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 10, 2011 7:34 AM ET
Especially if you throw in iPad sales, as yet another Wall Street analyst has done
If you look closely at the chart at right, taken from a note to clients issued Monday by Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore, you'll see that it has two entries for the second quarter of 2011.
Both show notebook computer sales as reported by the six largest vendors. The difference -- which Whitmore has highlighted with an orange MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 8, 2011 7:09 AM ET
A sampling of reactions to Apple's (AAPL) profits growing 125% year over year
IDC's Al Hilwa: "Apple's growth in the third quarter was simply jaw-dropping. In 20 years of following tech I have seen very few companies in the $90 to $100 billion run-rate and none that have produced 80% organic quarterly growth. The success of the iPad truly crystallizes the point that we are living in an era of rapid MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 20, 2011 5:46 AM ET
An analyst expects Apple to launch both an iPhone 5 and a mid-range iPhone 4S
For much of the spring, the reporters who cover Apple (AAPL) have been arguing among themselves about what to call the new iPhone they expect the company to introduce in September.
Some call it the iPhone 5, to match the iOS 5 operating system Apple unveiled to developers three weeks ago.
Some, anticipating that the new device will MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 27, 2011 7:15 AM ET
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