Why did Apple pay dividends to their shareholders?

If they don't have to do so, why did they do it (or do they have to at some stage)? Aren't they in effect losing cash?

How would they at all benefit from it?


They would be able to raise more capital by offering dividends to share holders who would other wise not invest or buy the stock. By not having dividends, the company has limited share holder equity on their balance sheet, which does increase their assets, but people who want the stock and the dividends, would not buy it. Or people who do not want their earning through trading a stock, have no reasoning to own the stock.

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