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Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledges firm's falling share price

Says the board is working to get money to investors
Thu Feb 28 2013, 13:20
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BELEAGUERED Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors that the company isn't happy that its stock price has been falling.

Apple's share price peaked at $700 last September when the firm launched the iPhone 5, however since then it has fallen sharply as doubts loom larger that it can continue to grow in the face of increased competition from rivals like Samsung. Now Cook has admitted that the firm is not happy with its falling share price and said it is "very active" in working out ways to give some of its $137bn cash pile to investors.

As Apple's investors come to the realisation that the company's stock price cannot go forever higher regardless of how shiny the firm's products are, they have been demanding that the firm distribute part of its large cash pile back to investors. Last week outspoken investor David Einhorn scored a court victory against Apple's plan to put the question of issuing preferred stock to a shareholder vote, leading to Apple scrapping the vote.

While Cook didn't say what options Apple's board is looking at for paying out some of its cash pile to shareholders, he did take the unusual step of commenting on the firm's falling share price. With regard to Apple's recently falling stock price, Cook told investors, "I don't like it either. The board doesn't like it. The management team doesn't like it."

It is very rare for the CEO of a large publicly held company to speak directly about the firm's share price performance, but Cook said that the firm is looking at the long term, adding, "What we are focused on is the long term. This has always been a secret of Apple."

The problem for Cook is that while playing the long game is a sensible business strategy, Wall Street cares only about quarterly financial results, so his statements might do little to please institutional investors.

Apple's shares are trading around the $450 range, 35 percent lower than its September 2012 high of $700. µ

 

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