The company is likely to hold on to its $100 billion cash hoard -- at least for now
I suspect that the number one question on the mind of Apple (AAPL) shareholders gathering today at 1 Infinite Loop for the company's annual meeting is what Tim Cook plans to do with Apple's roughly $100 billion in cash and marketable securities.
"I think it's clear to everyone, and I'd be the first to admit, we have more cash than we need to run the business on a daily basis," Cook told investors at a Goldman Sachs conference last week.
What will he do with all that extra dough? Speculation (see, for example, here) has centered on four scenarios:
Judging from Cook's remarks last week, however, I'd say the most likely scenario is none of the above -- at least for now.
While repeating previous remarks about not being "religious" about holding on to extra cash and being engaged in "active discussions" about what to do with it, Cook went on to say: (I quote)
Finally -- and this may be the clincher -- Cook said "we're in very active discussions at the board level on what we should do." A close reading of Apple's 2012 proxy suggests that while the three-person audit committee met nine times in 2011, there may have been only one full board meeting (last November) since Aug. 24, 2011, when Steve Jobs submitted his resignation.
It's hard to imagine a multi-billion dollar decision like this being made without at least one more meeting of the full board.
UPDATE: Meeting over. No dividend or buyback or stock split today. See here.
The shareholders meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET).
The new board member was granted restricted shares worth $55,000 and change
According to a Form 4 filed with the SEC on Thursday, Disney (DIS) CEO Robert Iger received as part of his new position on Apple's board of directors 142 restricted shares that vest next February.
At Apple's (AAPL) closing price of $388.83 Tuesday, the day the shares were issued, the grant was worth
142 * $388.83 = $55,213.86
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Will Art Levinson change the power balance at Apple? A closer look at the new chairman
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Meg Whitman's experience at eBay may make her seem qualified to lead HP's turnaround. But most tech turnarounds -- when they work -- take several years. And this one is likely to be very difficult.
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FORTUNE -- It's been a rough several months for Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) board. First they had to deal with a scandal that led to the sudden departure of their Chairman and CEO. Then they had to begin a search for new leadership. Finally, a third of MOREMichal Lev-Ram, writer - Mar 31, 2011 2:16 PM ET
He advised both Apple and Google until a Fortune profile brought his role to light
When Bill Campbell executed a "non-sale transfer" of $7.7 million worth of Apple (AAPL) stock in Sept. 2009, we speculated that given his increasing awkward position as a close adviser to both Steve Jobs and Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt, Campbell might be reconsidering his position on Apple's board of directors.
We were wrong about that. Campbell MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 9, 2010 5:43 AM ET
How many CEOs have been head of HR, Engineering, Sales, Marketing, Finance or Legal? Probably none. Here's how they can overcome that and still hire good people in those roles.
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The biggest difference between being a great functional manager and being a great general manager – and particularly a great CEO – is that as a general manager, you must hire and manage people who are MOREOct 13, 2010 3:34 PM ET
According to an SEC Form 4 filed Friday, Bill Campbell, a key Apple (AAPL) board member and a close friend and adviser to Steve Jobs, executed a "non-sale transfer" of 60,000 shares of Apple stock worth more than $7.7 million in late August -- including directors options he'd been holding for eight years.
It's not clear where Campbell transferred those shares or for what purpose. In 2007 Campbell sold 160,000 shares MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 5, 2009 7:52 AM ET
Now that Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's (AAPL) board of directors -- something that actually happened last Friday, according to Apple's form 8-K filing with the SEC -- who will replace him?
Names of potential nominees have already started to pour in. Tim Cook -- who ran Apple during both of Steve Jobs' medical leaves -- would be our first choice, and he's the leading vote getter MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 4, 2009 12:19 PM ET
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