Apple’s annual shareholder meeting took place at Apple’s campus in Cupertino yesterday. In the meeting Apple CEO Tim Cook made no mention of Apple’s plans for distributing some of it’s massive cash pile to investors and didn’t talk about stock splits, but he did admit that he doesn’t like Apple’s falling share price and revealed that Apple is working on new product categories. Apple shares closed at $444.57, down from $448.97 the day before.
What Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t do
Cook didn’t announce an increased dividend
Cook didn’t announce an accelerated buyback program
Cook didn’t announce a stock split
What Apple CEO Tim Cook did do
Cook admitted that he knows shareholders are “disappointed” with Apple’s falling share price, adding: “I don’t like it either” and indicating that he is “focused on the long term,” and that: “This has always been a secret of Apple,”
according to Reuters’ report.
Cook said Apple has some “great stuff coming.”
Cook confirmed that Apple is not constraining R&D in order to conserve cash. “We’re not constraining our investment in R&D by a desire to grow a cash pile. We stay very focused and work on a few things,” he said.
He confirmed that Apple is working on new product categories.
Regarding Android and Samsung market share, Cook said: “It is clear that Android is on a lot of phones. It is probably true that iOS is on a lot more tablets. Success is not making the most,” adding: “There’s a button or two we could press to make the most. That would not be good for Apple.”
Cook revealed that Apple would relocate to its new headquarters in 2016, rather than 2015 as previously planned.
Cook emphasized Apple’s track record with worker rights. Pointing out that Apple educates workers in China on their rights, and claiming that Apple does more than any other company that he has looked at in improving working conditions in its supply chain,
according to The Mac Observer.
Cook described Al Gore as the inventor of the Internet,
according to CNBC’s blog.
Apple provided coffee and donuts, but banned iPhones from inside the meeting, as Reuters
discovered, dashing their plans to live blog.
What did shareholders vote for?
All directors were reelected: Cook won 99% of his vote, Walt Disney’s Bob Iger also won 99%, former Avon Products Inc CEO Andrea Jung was least popular with 84.6% in favour.
Apple’s accounting firm was approved
The ‘say on pay’ was approved (basically the right to vote on the remuneration of executives)
What did shareholders vote against?
Executive stock retention (Apple recommended a no vote)
Human Rights committee (Apple recommended a no vote)
What about Einhorn and Proposal 2?
According to reports, just one shareholder mentioned the $137 billion in cash issue and the Einhorn lawsuit during the question-and-answer session of the meeting.
Apple confirmed it is committed to reviving the shareholder proposal that it had to withdraw after David Einhorn’s lawsuit.
Reports claim Cook once again described Einhorn’s lawsuit as “silly”. He said: “I strongly believe it was a silly sideshow, regardless of how the judge ruled. I don’t think the issue of returning cash to shareholders is silly – we’re seriously considering it.”
However, Cook emphasized that Apple is holding “very active discussions” regarding the cash pile.
Apple shareholders and representatives from the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPers) and the Nathan Cummings Foundation spoke in favor of Einhorn’s proposal at the meeting, according to Reuters.
CalPers Senior Portfolio Manager Anne Simpson said: “We know there is hot debate going on with cash. We are willing and happy to wait.”
“I would say the message is, ‘Keep calm and carry on,'” she said.
Einhorn was not seen at the meeting.
What else happened?
There was a protest outside by the Service Employees International Union who want Apple to reconsider the hiring of securities contractor SIS.
This protest did get a mention in the meeting, with the speaker claiming the contractor was resisting efforts by its employees to unionize. Cook said he knew nothing of the matter and promised he would look into it,
according to MarketWatch.
A shareholder asked why there was no bathroom in an Apple retail store in Santa Monica, California and Cook, acknowledged that it was an important point and said he will look into it.
How did the shareholders respond
Apple shareholder Carol Shoaff
told Reuters that she is confident about Cook’s leadership: “I think he’s good. I don’t think Steve Jobs would have left him in charge if he didn’t believe in him.”
New York State Comptroller Thomas Napoli released a statement later in the day saying his office was: “Disappointed” that Apple didn’t present a proposal to return some of its $137 billion to shareholders,
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