“Combining dividends, share repurchases, and cash used to net-share-settle vesting RSUs, we anticipate utilizing approximately $45 billion of domestic cash in the first three years of our programs,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “We are extremely confident in our future and see tremendous opportunities ahead.”
That may seem like a lot, but it’s not. Apple made $13 billion last quarter, and will probably make at least $10 billion this quarter. For a company that currently pulls in more than $10 billion per quarter and whose profits double annually, $45 billion over three years is nothing. Apple may well be making that much every quarter three years from now.