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March 20, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
It wasn't as breathlessly awaited as the latest iPad or iPhone, but investors may come to appreciate the iDividend just as much. Investors have been clamoring for Apple Inc. to begin making quarterly payouts as the tech giant's stock price has doubled since June and its cash hoard neared $100 billion. The announcement Monday illustrates the importance that investors place on dividends — especially during times of market uncertainty. Pressure from shareholders has prompted American companies to boost dividend payments at a record pace in the last few years, and experts say the trend will continue.
March 19, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton
It wasn't as breathlessly awaited as the latest iPad or iPhone, and money managers didn't camp outside Apple Inc.'s investor relations department in sleeping bags. But investors may come to appreciate the iDividend as much as they do the company's electronic wizardry. Apple announced Monday that it will pay $2.65 per share each quarter, beginning in the fiscal fourth quarter starting July 1. It also will launch a three-year share buyback program. The introduction of quarterly payouts is not only a turning point for the company.
March 19, 2012 | By David Sarno
Apple Inc. said today it will begin spending part of its nearly $100-billion cash stockpile on a quarterly dividend, as well as a three-year stock buyback program. The company said it will pay shareholders $2.65 per share each quarter beginning in Apple's fiscal fourth quarter, which starts July 1. The company said it hopes the dividend will make Apple stock a more attractive investment to wider base of investors, including those looking to make regular income from owning the stock.
February 26, 2012 | By Tom Petruno
Trying to overcome Americans' deep distrust of the stock market, Wall Street has latched on to an investing concept from a bygone era: Buy equities and get cash back every quarter, potentially for as long as you own the shares. The come-on is for the dividends that many companies have regularly paid to their shareholders. For much of the last century, dividends were the primary reason to own stocks. The chance of capital appreciation was secondary. As share prices rocketed in the wild bull market of the 1980s and 1990s, dividends became an afterthought.
February 25, 2012 | By Tom Petruno
Here is a primer on the mechanics of dividend-focused investing, and answers to some common questions investors may have. Are stock dividend yields near historical highs? No. The average dividend yield of the Standard & Poor's 500 index stocks now is 2%. That's up from the record low of 1.1% in early 2000, but well below the average yield of about 5% in the late 1970s. Compared with short-term interest rates near zero and high-quality bond yields in low single digits, however, the yields of 2.5% to 4% on some of the most popular dividend-paying shares look relatively attractive — with the caveat that stocks always carry the risk of principal loss.
January 11, 2012
Lure of the rails Re "Keep the bullet train on track," Editorial, Jan. 7 Should California continue its high-speed rail project? Yes. But should we get locked into the current plan by the California High-Speed Rail Authority? No. Most people favor, in principle, building a bullet train system, even many who object to the cost and poor design. So the real question is why we're locked into such an unrealistic plan. It is apparent the current plan to start in the Central Valley is a political compromise, not a doable business plan able to attract private investment.
January 8, 2012 | Max Boot
In unveiling a new strategic review Thursday, President Obama warned that "we can't afford to repeat the mistakes that have been made in the past — after World War II, after Vietnam — when our military was left ill-prepared for the future. " "As commander in chief," he vowed, "I will not let that happen again. Not on my watch. " Actually, it is already happening again on his watch. Last summer, defense spending was slashed by $487 billion over 10 years. Then, right before Thanksgiving, a special committee of Congress failed to agree on $1.2 trillion in alternative cuts, which opened the way to another $500 billion or so in defense cuts.
December 6, 2011 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Ford Motor Co. has reinstated its quarterly dividend after cutting the payment more than five years ago as it prepared to navigate a turbulent economy. Ford will pay 5 cents a share to holders of Class B and common stock as of Jan. 31, 2012. The payment will be made March 1. "We have made tremendous progress in reducing debt and generating consistent positive earnings and cash flow," said Executive Chairman Bill Ford. "The board believes it is important to share the benefits of our improved financial performance with our shareholders.
November 20, 2011 | By Andrew Leckey
Question: I'd like to know whether I should keep my shares in Vanguard Capital Opportunity Fund. Answer: It is understandable that some longtime owners of this popular fund would become concerned. Underperforming stocks of Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, and chip maker Cree Inc. have lately held back overall results, a natural consequence of a contrarian growth approach that often includes volatile technology. The Vanguard Capital Opportunity Fund was up less than 2% in a recent 12-month period to rank in the lower one-fifth of large growth funds.
November 5, 2011 | By Lance Pugmire
Bill Spawr's last little trick Saturday with his Breeders' Cup Sprint entry Amazombie was to tie the gelding's tongue to the bottom of its mouth with a white bow. Veteran trainer Spawr, a horseman since his teens who arrives at his barn at 3:15 a.m. daily, found tying the tongue keeps the horse easier to handle at critical moments when it might tend to lose control. With that, Spawr, 72, handed over the star horse of his lifetime to decorated jockey Mike Smith , who guided the 5-year-old from a runner-up spot at the top of the stretch to a dramatic victory by a neck over Force Freeze.
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