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Payout Policy: * 2 Methods: Dividend Payout and Stock Repurchase * First announced in 1992, due to positive expectations, had a top position in the industry and positive cash flows since the IPO * Signal a strong position ina risky market and the transition to a more mature state of the company * The payout ratio has been growing steadily, getting close to 25% in 2003

Why they payout? * Low interest rates offered by Linear’s High-grade securities * Investors can earn more with the dividends on their own * The company has no acquisition plans * Repurchases offset the exercise of employee stock options

Question 2: What are Linear’s financing needs? How large is the dividend relative to its cash level and to the annual cash flow and investment spending of the firm?

* Income statement and revenue growth stable during 1992-2002 * Boom during peak in 200-2001 (dot-com bubble) * Even in economic downfall, managed to obtain a positive net income and net cash flow * Also maintained margin with focus on variable cost * Analog semiconductors have stable and modest R&D costs, don’t need much financing * Little desire for excessive investments, cash is handled conservatively with investments in short-term debt securities

Therefore: * Internal Linear has relatively low financing needs * External can endure financing needs from market risks (War on Iraq) because of high cash reserves

Question 3: Should Linear return cash to its shareholders? What are the tax consequences of keeping cash inside the firm?

* Some shareholders have desire for Linear to return its cash * Not necessarily shared by all

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