Why Can't You Be More Like Oracle?

One of the gems out of last night's Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) earnings report is that the enterprise software giant is initiating a dividend.

It isn't much, at a quarterly rate of $0.05 a share, but it does the trick. Based on last night's close, Oracle will now be yielding about 1.2%. It won't put the kids through college, but it's actually better than most money market accounts these days.

Well done, Oracle. Now let's see the bigger tightwads follow the lead.

Tech bellwethers have been reluctantly tightfisted with their greenbacks. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) is one of just two stateside companies with market caps greater than $100 billion that refuses to pay a dividend. The other is Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B  ) , which understandably has other uses for its idle cash, given Warren Buffett's investing acumen.

Beyond Google and Berkshire Hathaway, two of the next three stocks living in Nil City, based on market cap, are Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) . Yes, three of the country's five largest companies that refuse to pay out a dividend are tech companies.

What is it with you cash-rich tech stocks? Why can't you be more like Oracle instead of the Oracle of Omaha?

Google, Apple, and Cisco each have billions in the bank. What are they going to do with the money? It's not as if antitrust regulators will let Google deploy its greenbacks into multi-billion dollar acquisitions. And I'm sorry Apple and Cisco, but you two are expected to post a dip in profitability this year. The least you can do is reward your patient shareholders with a little extra pocket change.

It doesn't end there. Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) are tech juggernauts with balance sheets begging to be whacked like a pinata.

This should be the time for tech to show its market leadership. At a time when traditional high-yielding investments like REITs and bank stocks are dramatically slashing their payouts, Big Tech could emerge as the as the smart choice for income investors.

I mean, come on now! If Oracle is doing it, why can't you?

Read up on Google:

Who do you think will be the next Nil City resident to initiate a dividend policy? Post your nominations in the comment box below.

Berkshire Hathaway is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple, Amazon.com, and Berkshire Hathaway are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been known to come to a complete stop at a yield sign. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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