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Apple buys back $14 billion worth of own shares in 2 weeks and other news for Feb. 6, 2014

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple, in the last two weeks alone, repurchased US$14 billion worth of its own shares. Recall that when Apple announced its earnings two weeks ago, the company posted an all-time quarterly record for revenue, along with record iPhone and iPad sales. But investors were wary of Apple's Q2 guidance and disappointed that iPhone sales weren't as high as they were anticipating.

The fallout? Apple's stock tanked, dropping 12 percent in just a matter of days.

Apple's reaction? Invest in itself.

Speaking to the Journal, Tim Cook expressed "surprise" at the market's reaction to Apple's earnings results. Nonetheless, with Apple trading in the lower $500 range for the past two weeks or so, Cook said the company wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.

"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," said Mr. Cook, speaking in a conference room at the company's corporate headquarters here. "We're not just saying that. We're showing that with our actions."

Last we checked in, Apple had spent $28 billion in stock buybacks. With news that Apple has gone on a stock spending spree in recent weeks, Apple has now spent $52 billion snatching up its own shares. As part of Apple's capital program, it has pledged to spend upwards of $60 billion on buybacks.

While some folks (we're looking at you Carl Icahn) have been quite vocal in arguing that Apple should expand its stock repurchasing program, Cook told the Journal that Apple wants to keep enough cash on hand for potential acquisitions.

"We've looked at big companies," said Mr. Cook. "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. None. Zero."

Ten figures? Now we're talking about a billion dollar purchase, a staggering amount for a company that has never even spent $500 million on a lone acquisition.

And combating fears that Apple's innovative days are a thing of the past, Cook emphasized that Apple remains a "growth company" and that "there will be new categories." Of course, Cook couldn't expand on that, but promised that Apple is "working on some really great stuff."

Some other news to make headlines this afternoon included:

  • Apple this week registered a number of new top-level domains, according to MacRumors. Apple's recent registrations are all photography-focused and include aperture.camera, apple.camera, iMovie.camera and a whole lot more.
  • With so much information littering the Internet, it's sometimes hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. To that end, if you want a straightforward look at just what works to speed up your Mac and what doesn't, hop on over to Macworld for the full scoop.
  • Oh Apple, will you ever get on the Bitcoin bandwagon? Not likely. Most recently, Apple removed Blockchain from the App Store even though it had already been in the store for two years. Bloomberg has the low-down on that over here.
  • And in a blurb that might as well have come from the Onion, our old pal Woz told Wired that Apple should make an Android phone. Ummm, sure.

And make sure to check out these features from TUAW in case you missed em' earlier:

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