Apple's Not a Hardware Company: Live Blog Recap
Cook touched on Apple's $137 billion cash hoard, which came under attack last week from hedge fund manager David Einhorn. Einhorn sued Apple, asking shareholders to fight against the company. He's put out a letter asking shareholders to vote against Apple's proposal (Proposal 2) to do away with preferred stock, which he says restricts "the Board's ability to unlock the value on Apple's balance sheet." Cook called the lawsuit "a silly sideshow."
The CEO also outlined the company's fiscal philosophy. "Apple doesn't have a Depression-era mentality. Apple makes bold and ambitious bets on products, and we're conservative financially," Cook said during the conference. He also noted that Apple's "seriously considering" proposals from Greenlight, as well as other shareholders.
Apple has hinted recently that it could re-examine the cash on its balance sheet, as it seeks to unlock shareholder value. During the company's first-quarter earnings call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer said that Apple will return $45 billion over three years to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, but noted Apple considers "increasing these programs and we'll do what we think is in the best interest of our shareholders."
Cook also shed some new light on how Apple is perceived. Apple has historically been seen as a hardware company with incredible gross margins, but Cook said that's not true. "Because we're not a hardware company, we have other ways to make money and reward shareholders," Cook said, mentioning that Apple had $3.7 billion in revenue in software and services last quarter.
Shares of Apple fell following Cook's speech, off 2.34% to $468.72.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia and James Rogers in New York
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