Also see Apple and the Fruits of Tax Cuts (Paul Krugman in NYT)
"Like a bottomless ATM, the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant has delivered $275.2 billion to its shareholders in dividends and stock repurchases over the past 6 and 1/2 years as the iPhone has become the dominant mobile communications device in the world.
The company spent $22.8 billion buying back its shares in just the first three months of 2018, a record for a U.S. company. Apple is responsible for nine of the 20 largest quarterly stock buybacks in S&P history.
Thought of another way, the $22.8 billion Apple spent on its first quarter stock buyback is enough buy any of 275 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index."How rich is Apple? Its recent stock buyback is more valuable than 275 companies in the S&P 500 - The Washington Post