Wow! What a weekend for the new iPad, which Apple announced today moved three million units in 10 countries around the world. But new iPad owners aren’t the only ones happy today — investors liked the sound of Cupertino’s new dividend and share repurchase plan announced early this morning, which is pushing the company ever higher. How high can they go? Is it possible for what goes up to actually stay up? These are questions we may never have the answers to — but have a look at the news for Monday, March 19 and you be the judge.
AAPL Closes Above 0 Per Share
Have a look at that screenshot above from Apple’s own Stocks app — investors must have liked the sound of what they heard during this morning’s conference call to discuss Cupertino’s cash hoard, because they sent AAPL shares flying to heights they’ve never been before, closing at 1.10 per share for the first time in history (and shortly after cracking the 0 barrier earlier this month). Even more remarkable, today’s high comes less than five weeks after the company’s climb to 0 per share on February 13. Which brings us to Apple’s other good news today…
Apple Announces 3 Million New iPads for Launch Weekend
The media was scratching its collective head this morning expecting Apple to announce how many new iPads found a home over the weekend — but none came. Thankfully, Cupertino isn’t keeping us in suspense any longer, announcing Monday afternoon that the new iPad sold three million units since launching on Friday, March 16 in the United States and nine other countries around the world. For those keeping score, the original iPad took 80 days to sell three million units — a feat the new iPad accomplished in less than four days. “The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold — the strongest iPad launch yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.” That’s right: Apple will roll the new iPad out to 24 more countries come this Friday, March 23, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Dropbox Announces Sharing to Facebook Friends — On Twitter
Sometimes, the irony is so obvious, you have to wonder how it’s possible for these companies not to see it. The fine folks at Dropbox took to Twitter today to announce that invitations to shared folders can now be sent to… Facebook friends? You’d think that Dropbox would want to get the word out to Facebook users, but they must be covering all their bases by hitting their Twitter feed with the news as well. #LOL
Notes from Apple’s Cash Balance Conference Call
This morning, Apple held an early morning conference call to announce plans for a dividend and share repurchase program that kicks off later this year, much to the glee of investors. While the press release covered most of the basics, MacRumors has gathered notes from the call itself, which included a recap of the company’s current activity. However, the main impetus of the call was on the company’s nearly 0 billion pile of cash, billion of which resides outside the United States. Noting that the company has “been very disciplined with the use of our cash,” CFO Peter Oppenheimer laid out the three prongs of the company’s investment opportunities: “Current income for our longterm shareholders, increase attractiveness to a broader investment base and preserve value from employee equity dilution.” Analysts who dialed into the call were hoping for more details on the company’s future product pipeline, to which CEO Tim Cook noted, “We actually do love to announce new products, we just don’t do it in conference calls.”
AT&T Reports Record “Sales and Activations” for New iPad on Friday
While Apple made it clear that this morning’s conference call would be focused strictly on the company’s dividend and share repurchase program, analysts couldn’t stop themselves from asking about the new iPad’s debut weekend. Despite Apple’s claims during the call that the third-generation tablet had a “record weekend” and remarking that they were “thrilled with it,” Cupertino was curiously quiet this morning, with no press release shouting the initial numbers from the rooftops. Carrier partner AT&T, on the other hand, was quite happy to do it for them, announcing that Friday’s launch day set “a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations, demonstrating robust demand for the new iPad on the nation’s largest 4G network.”
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