In a note to clients — as reported by “AppleInsider” ( — analyst Brian Marshall with the International Strategy & Investment Group said his firm’s surveys have indicated most investors don’t think Apple will initiate a dividend policy in 2012.

However, he believes new CEO Tim Cook will make an effort to optimize his company’s capital structure and will, in fact, pay out a dividend. Marshall says Apple could “easily” implement a dividend yield of 250 base points, amounting to about US$2.40 per quarter.

A dividend payout would reduce Apple’s free cash flow by between 20% and 25%, he says. However, Marshall estimates that a dividend yield would bring in more than $4 billion in incremental investments.