Apple has found an investor that hasn't lost faith in its prospects: itself.
The company announced Tuesday that it plans to more than double its program to return cash to shareholders through stock buybacks and a higher dividend, spending $100 billion in cash on the effort through the end of 2015. Its share repurchases alone will increase to $60 billion from the $10 billion it had previously committed, the largest such plan in history, the company said.
The move to rekindle its relationship with investors came as Apple announced its first profit decline in a decade. Its net income fell 18 percent, as one of the most successful technology franchises in recent years, the iPhone, showed signs of slowing and other, less profitable products began to make up more of its sales.
The rarity of Apple's decline in profit, which was expected, underscores how one of the more remarkable winning streaks in business has come to an end. Investors have battered the company's stock for months, sending its shares down from their peak of more than $700 a share last year as warning signs began to emerge about its growth prospects.
In regular trading Tuesday, Apple shares rose nearly 2 percent to close at $406.13, and they were up to about $425 in after-hours trading as investors reacted to the quarterly earnings news.
One of the biggest questions facing Apple is whether it can innovate its way out of its funk by delivering a breakthrough new product, perhaps in a category like television, that rekindles growth and the passion of investors with it.
Apple provided no detail about its plans Tuesday, other than the vague hints it often shares about exciting new products to come. "Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline," Tim Cook, the company's chief executive, said in a statement.
For its fiscal second quarter, which ended March 30, Apple said net income dropped to $9.55 billion, or $10.19 a share, from $11.62 billion, or $12.30 a share, during the same period a year earlier.
Revenue, meanwhile, rose 11 percent to $43.6 billion, from $39.19 billion a year before.
Wall Street analysts had expected earnings of $10.07 a share and revenue of $42.59 billion, according to the average of estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.