5 Things Apple Investors Want to Hear Today
CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) - Apple(AAPL) CEO Tim Cook is speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference today, with investors wondering whether they will hear exciting news about the future of the business.
Cook has spoken at this conference before, but never as CEO, having taken the Apple reins from the Steve Jobs last year.
Cook has previously discussed numbers and trends at the Goldman Sachs event, but his appearance as CEO has prompted speculation that he may mention something pertinent to shareholders.
TheStreet will be live-blogging the event as it happens:
Here are five of the most pressing issues that Apple investors want to hear Tim Cook speak about today:
Apple, of course, has come under intense scrutiny recently, as some of its suppliers and manufacturers' labor practices have been called into question.
The scrutiny prompted Cook to send an internal email saying, "We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us."
Yesterday, Apple also announced that it would be conducting special voluntary audits of its final assembly suppliers, most notably Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. Some Foxconn employees have reportedly committed suicide due to poor working conditions, extended overtime and other factors.
With Apple clearly striving for increased transparency investors will be keen to hear what, if anything, Cook has to say on this front.
Speculation about an Apple dividend started when Cook took over as CEO further fuelled by his comment that he's "not religious" about holding cash .
Apple exited its most recent quarter with nearly $100 billion in cash , and investors have been anxious for Apple to do something with its hoard, most notably in the form of a dividend. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer recently said Apple is "actively discussing uses of its cash balance," but it did not have anything to announce.
There are reasons for and against a dividend, but Apple shares have increased sharply after its recent first-quarter earnings call, leading some to believe the run-up is caused in part due to an upcoming dividend announcement. Since the start of 2012, Apple has gained 24.1%, compared to a 12.5% gain in the Nasdaq.
Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a January research report that he believes a dividend is coming. "We have long argued that Apple should look to return cash to shareholders for two principal reasons: first, that holding the cash - with a current yield of