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Apple to dish out $100 billion to shareholders

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple is opening the doors to its bank vault, saying it will distribute $100 billion in cash to its shareholders over two years. At the same time, the company said it expects sales for the current quarter to fall from the year before, which would be the first decline in many years.

Apple Inc. on Tuesday said it will buy back $60 billion in shares - the largest buyback authorization in history. It is also raising its dividend by 15 percent.

Investors have been clamoring for Apple to give them access to its cash hoard, which ended March at an unprecedented $145 billion. Apple's tight grip on its cash has been blamed for the steep decline in its stock price over the winter.

News of the cash bonanza coincided with the company's release of a poor quarterly outlook for the three-month period that ends in June. The June quarter is generally a weak one for Apple, since consumers tend to hold off for the next iPhone, which the company usually releases in the fall.

Apple shares rose $18.87, or 4.6 percent, to $425 in extended trading. The shares are still down 40 percent from the peak hit on Sept. 21, when the iPhone 5 went on sale.

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