Microsoft had $56 billion in cash as of June 30 . The company decided to raise its dividend payout by 3 cents to 23 per share or up by $1 billion a year. This goes to the heart of corporate finance theory. If you cannot reinvest cash at ROI higher than your cost of equity, you should distribute cash to investors as dividends or share repurchases in order to avoid destroying shareholders' value. Apple had $117 billion incash as of June 30. It also started paying dividends this month.