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.
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:
- Tim feels that Google shouldn't pay a dividend.
- I, on the other hand, do think a payout would be a great idea.
- 10 Dividend Stocks for the Next Decade and Beyond
Who do you think will be the next Nil City resident to initiate a dividend policy? Post your nominations in the comment box below.