Apple is a publicly traded company that publishes its dividend schedule online in the Investor Relations section of its website, according to Apple. The ex-dividend date is typically two business days prior to the record date announced by the company, states the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
For the purpose of calculating the ex-dividend date, a business day is when both the major U.S. stock exchanges and New York banks are open, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. This excludes holidays such as Columbus Day, when the major exchanges are open but banks are closed.
If the record date falls on a non-business day, then the previous business day is used to calculate the ex-dividend date, according to NASDAQ. For example, if the record date is a Sunday, then the previous Friday would be used to calculate an ex-dividend date of Wednesday.
The day prior to the ex-dividend date is the last date that an investor may purchase shares to be eligible for the dividend on the record date, states the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The investor must hold on to the share until after the ex-dividend date to remain eligible but may sell it prior to the record date.