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Here’s Why Apple’s Repurchase Program May Continue Expanding

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May. 22 2019, Published 3:32 p.m. ET

Apple sitting on $113 billion net cash

Last month, Apple (AAPL) expanded its share repurchase program with an additional $75 billion. Last May, the company announced a $100 billion repurchase program. Apple’s share repurchase program could see further boosts, and here’s why.

Apple finished the March quarter with $113 billion in net cash. Last year, the company disclosed a plan to reach a neutral net cash position. Therefore, there is still a long runway for Apple to reach its desired cash position, indicating that further boosts to the share repurchase program are possible.

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Companies spending big on share repurchases

Apple repurchased $24 billion worth of its shares during the March quarter. Intel (INTC), Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), and IBM (IBM) repurchased $2.5 billion, $2.2 billion, and $900 million worth of their shares, respectively, in the March quarter. Alphabet early this year announced a $12.5 billion boost to its share repurchase program, which already contained $8.6 billion. Alphabet, one of America’s wealthiest corporations, finished the March quarter with $113.5 billion in cash reserves. eBay (EBAY), which has been expanding its share repurchase program on an ongoing basis in recent years in order to put more money back in the pockets of its shareholders, bought back $1.5 billion of its shares in the March quarter.

Qualcomm, a prominent Apple supplier that last year announced a plan to repurchase $30 billion of its shares after calling off its plan to acquire Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), said it had $7.8 billion remaining in its existing repurchase program at the end of March quarter.

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