Apple (AAPL) could increase its stock buyback program when it reports Q2 results after the close on April 23, Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi said Wednesday.
“We expect Apple to announce a decision on incremental cash returns on its earnings call,” Sacconaghi said in a research note to clients obtained by IBD. “We believe that many (particularly value-oriented) shareholders are looking for Apple to provide a framework and commitment for capital return, such as a minimum percentage of ongoing free cash flow that would be returned to shareholders.”
Sacconaghi said he expects the iPhone maker to boost “its commitment to its existing buyback program.” He told clients “We believe that Apple may add $30 billion to its current repurchase plans through year-end calendar year 2015”.
Apple had said it plans to repurchase $60 billion worth of its own shares by the end of 2015.
Sacconaghi estimates that the tech giant has already bought between $45 billion and $50 billion of that total, which would put it well ahead of schedule for its $60 billion repurchase authorization.
“If Apple does not raise the authorization, it would imply (about) $2 billion of repurchases per quarter vs. an average of nearly $8 billion per quarter over the past six quarters,” he wrote. “If Apple adds $30 billion to its current repurchase authorization, it would imply (about) $6 billion per quarter over the next seven quarters.”
Apple shares are up around $7 today, trading at $526 and change as of 3:05PM EDT.