Aggressive and opportunistic. These are the words used by CEO Tim Cook to describe the move of Apple to buy back $14 billion worth of its own shares.
The $14 billion repurchase consists $12 billion shares available in an accelerated buyback program and the other $2 billion from the open market. The latest spending of Apple has brought the total repurchases of its own stocks to $40 billion. The company is expected to disclose updates about its buyback next month or in April.
"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," said Cook.
The company's shares suffered an eight percent drop on Jan. 28, a day after Apple reported its first quarter earnings, and kinked 12 percent down a few days after. The company posted a $57.6 billion earning for the said period and a net profit of $13.1 billion. The company also posted all-time quarterly sales record for its iPhones but the figures were below projected numbers. The worries of the market might have been caused by the lower revenue projections for the second quarter of the fiscal year foreseen to be between $42 and $44 billion.
The company has also been on the receiving end of prodding from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns about $4 billion worth of Apple shares. Icahn wants Apple to spend more of its current cash pile amounting to $160 billion.
Apple has also been criticized for keeping a tight grip and not being aggressive on big ticket acquisitions compared to Google that has been on a spending spree.
Meanwhile, Apple has not spent more than $500 million in any of its recent acquisitions. In November, Apple acquired Kinect sensor maker PrimeSense for around $300 million. The iPhone and iPad manufacturer also bought Topsy for around $200 million.
Cook has dismissed claims that Apple does not want to spend.
"We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire or something may happen in the stock market that's unpredictable. 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," he said.
In the technology industry, spending, more often than not helps companies to innovate and Apple, according to observers, has seen its best days and is no longer the most innovative company today. Even Steve Jobs' biographer, Walter Isaacson, sees Google as the best when it comes to innovation today.
Apple's net income dropped by as much as 11 percent in the last fiscal year. Revenue growth is also not at its best, dropping below the 10 percent mark in the last few quarters.
While the $14 billion buyback somehow assures the market that Apple is confident at what it is doing, the market might be missing the vision that Steve Jobs have provided for the company.
On NASDAQ, Apple's shares were up 1.49 percent at $520.17 during pre-market trading.