Since Jan. 27, when Apple announced its fiscal first quarter 2014 earnings, and today, the company has repurchased $14 billion in Apple shares. The move follows input from activist investor Carl Icahn, who has repeatedly pushed the company to continue repurchasing shares and paying off shareholders.
Back on Jan. 22, Icahn said Apple was “doing a great disservice to shareholders by not having markedly increased its buyback,” accusing the company of acting like a “bank” by sitting on its cash reserves. According to The Wall Street Journal, the new purchase brings Apple’s total buyback during the past year to $40 billion, though Apple has said it plans to spend as much as $60 billion on buyback efforts. “It means that we are betting on Apple,” Tim Cook said of the buyback. “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.”
Cook has said that he prefers to have some cash on hand, however, in case Apple ever sees an opportunity to acquire a large firm. “We’ve looked at big companies,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “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.”
Cook also reiterated earlier comments that Apple will launch new products. “There will be new categories,” he said. “We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff,” said the CEO. That could mean anything, but right now our bets are on the iWatch and an improved Apple TV. The Apple TV isn’t new, of course, but Apple has referred to it as a hobby in the past and may start to take it more seriously. One new rumor suggests it will get its own app store and a new focus on gaming, which could help Apple move even further into the living room. Or perhaps an iTV is on the horizon – we just don’t know yet.