$200B Apple capital return possible: Analyst

How much cash could Apple return to shareholders?

Apple's latest capital return program could be worth between $150 billion and $200 billion over three years, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets said.

"I know it's a big number. It actually equates to about 25 percent of the market cap back to investors over three years," Amit Daryanani told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday. "What's interesting, though is the amount of free cash flow Apple is going to create over three years. So, while these are big numbers, they actually reflect the fact that Apple's generating a ton of cash, and they already have a big pile of cash on the balance sheet."

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Daryanani said he believes the tech giant's capital return program could be that large for several reasons, including soaring iPhone sales, the Apple Watch launch and Apple Pay growth.

Another reason centers around remarks from the company's CEO, Tim Cook. "Recent comments made by [Cook] are incrementally bullish regarding capital return," Daryanani said. Cook "stated they would look to return excess capital to shareholders and are not interested in being cash 'hoarders.'"

Daryanani added that RBC Capital's near-term target price for Apple's stock is between $140 and $150 a share. The shares were down slightly Thursday morning.

—CNBC's Johanna Urquhart contributed to this report.