San Francisco — Apple lavished cash on its shareholders like no company in history in the first three months of 2018 and it intends to keep doing so, making the iPhone maker’s investors the clearest winners yet from 2017’s sweeping US corporate tax cuts. With a mountain of overseas cash suddenly freed up by the tax overhaul, Apple bought back $23.5bn of its own stock in the March quarter, a record amount for any US company, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, and it added $100bn to its target for future repurchases. It also doled out $3.2bn in dividends and will increase them 16%. The amount Apple spent buying its shares in those three months exceeded the stock market value of most companies in the S&P 500 index. The decision to turn over record amounts of cash to shareholders was a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Republican legislators in December. It also coincided with a bout of volatility on Wall Street in recent months, which has many investors worried that...

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