Apple buys back US$14bn in stocks over two weeks

7 Feb 2014

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

After what it perceived to be a disappointing year in terms of a decline in shares, Apple has decided to buy back US$14bn of its own shares in the space of two weeks.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook made the decision after he felt it was the right thing to do in the face of the 8pc decline in Apple’s share price last year.

These last two weeks have been a high point in shares purchasing, as the company has been steadily buying US$40bn of its own shares over the last 12 months as part of its long-term plan and re-affirming of its faith in the company.

Cook, who recently paid a visit to the company’s plant in Cork City, said it’s a statement of intent for the company.

“It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do. We’re not just saying that. We’re showing that with our actions.”

Call for action

Apple plans to buy back a total of US$60bn of its own shares, however, one of Apple’s largest investors, Carl Icahn, has been putting considerable pressure on the tech giant to start returning some of its estimated US$160bn of cash deposits to its shareholders and has called on other shareholders to demand Apple buy an additional US$50bn of its own shares by the end of September.

Further on in The Wall Street Journal interview, Cook was asked whether Apple would be looking to use some of its cash reserves to acquire other companies with innovative technology, something internet search giant Google has been doing at an ever-increasing rate in the past few months. In response, Cook said Apple has considered a similar strategy but believes it will only consider an acquisition if the company fits perfectly with its ideals.

“We’ve looked at big companies. We have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company, for the right fit that’s in the best interest of Apple in the long-term.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic