Monday, March 19, 2012 at 10:24 am.

Apple’s ‘Boring’ Cash Plans Remind Us That Tim Cook Is Sane

Tim CookApple, which is sitting on more cash than many planets in our solar system, announced a significant dividend and share buyback program this morning.

Specifically, Apple will start a $2.65 quarterly dividend ($10.60 per year) sometime after June, and a $10 billion share repurchase program starting sometime next fiscal year, which begins at the end of September.

These are the practical, “boring” ways for Apple to put some of its cash to work, versus doing something radical like a big acquisition or investment, an unprecedented corporate philanthropic program, giving every kid in America an iPad, etc.

But that’s good news for Apple and its shareholders.

It’s a reminder that Tim Cook — while not interested in accumulating a trillion-dollar war chest for no reason — is doing the sane, practical thing with Apple’s cash, and not something crazy that might distract the company from its uniquely close focus. Apple will still have a lot of cash in case it needs it, just not as much. And shareholders get something out of it, too.

Also: 10 things we learned about Apple in 2010