“Apple Inc. has bought $14 billion of its own shares in the two weeks since reporting financial results that disappointed Wall Street, Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an interview,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Cook said Apple was ‘surprised’ by the 8% decline in its shares on Jan. 28, the day after it reported lower iPhone sales than projected and warned that revenue in the current quarter might decline from the same period a year ago. Mr. Cook said he wanted to be ‘aggressive’ and ‘opportunistic.'”

“With the latest purchases, Mr. Cook said Apple had bought back more than $40 billion of its shares over the past 12 months, which Mr. Cook said was a record for any company over a similar span,” Wakabayashi reports. “Those purchases are part of Apple’s previously disclosed plan to repurchase $60 billion of its own shares, Mr. Cook said. He said Apple bought $12 billion of the shares through an ‘accelerated’ repurchase program, and $2 billion on the open market. He said Apple plans to disclose “updates” to its buyback program in March or April.”

“The Apple CEO said its history of opting for smaller deals doesn’t mean that the company won’t pull the trigger on a big acquisition if it makes sense,” Wakabayashi reports. “‘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.'”

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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “David E.,” Dan K.,” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]