Since 2012, when the company launched the largest share repurchase program ever, Apple has returned a little more than $100 billion to shareholders in stock buybacks and dividends. It will return a total of $130 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015.
The company increased its dividend by 15 percent in 2013 and 8 percent last year, and said last April that it plans to continue to raise its dividend on an annual basis. So investors will be watching closely to see how much the needle moves this year.
"We believe the bogey for investors is a 15 percent increase to Apple's total reported capital return number (shares repurchase plus past dividends), which would imply a $150 billion headline number, up from $130 billion announced last year," said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, in a recent note.
Apple still has loads of cash on hand, about $178 billion, according to the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings. But of that, about $157.8 billion is overseas where it is protected from U.S. taxes.
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Given CEO Tim Cook's recent statements about the company's cash pile, investors are hopeful that a bigger increase is on the way.
"My view is for cash that we don't need—with some level of buffer—we want to give back," Cook said at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference in San Francisco in February. "It may come across that we are, but we are not hoarders."