Apple buys back $14 billion shares in two weeks

“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.'”

Read more in the full article here.

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

40 Comments

    1. G,
      Well, a… yes, and…a… NO. As a famous lady actress once answered if she was a virgin on her wedding day. LOL

      While I do not trade shares in my 401K as the company holding them is as slow as honey in winter acting on trades, I have started keeping a few shares in one of the commercial trade houses. Sold a few shares at $550 before the quarter report and bought them back for $500 two days later.

      If you cannot fight the ba*tards, sometimes you have to join them. 🙁 sadly.

      1. The general term for people timing stock trades is “contributor.” The ba*tards practice every day and have information the rest of us do not. We can beat them, but not at their own game.

  1. I really don’t understand why Apple doesn’t just spend all $60 billion of its buyback program when it was at around $440 per share. Their first purchase was around $40, then it was $480, now its probably around $500. The next time they buy will be even higher.

    1. You can tell Tim Cook is clueless when he was surprised Apple’s share price fell on earnings. It shouldn’t have been a surprise at all. It was a given investors would dump. He should have been listening to Wall Street’s expectations of iPhone sales.

      There’s no guarantee Apple’s share price will go higher at all. Apple can easily go lower. Investors who are not confident in Apple’s guidance will wisely take out more money. Not everyone is as stupid as Icahn gambling that Apple might go up within the next couple of quarters. It’s much easier to take Apple down over that period of time. There’s plenty of better pickin’s than Apple. Even profitless Amazon will recover its losses faster than Apple will.

      1. Maybe he has yet to grasp the level of manipulation. AKAM bare beats today and is under threat that Apple will bring. content distribution in house, yet jumps 20%. The reason Apple dropped to where it did was to wipe out the call option buyers at every level. The MM jerked the stock down from the get go. It wasn’t like there was 1 billion shares for sale at market that MM had to clear. Once it dumped the cabal just ket the pressure on unitl the calls were wiped out. After earnings, put call ratio increeased and the MM started screwing the option put buyers. 80% probability that AAPL closes at 505 to 507 tomorrow just to scree the option gmaers. 10 for 1 split would make it extremely less lucrative because the number of contracts would need to increse 10 fold for the same effect, greatly increasing transactions costs. Then MM could move thier game to GOOG which does less than 10% of APPLe share and option volume.

      2. Dear RBF, Please tell samsung I said hello. They are just doing so well in the market, you must be totally pleased. LOL

        Just a thought to you (and a few others) here that have NO CLUE as to how the rules go vs companies and the SEC. Companies have inside information on what they are doing, so any stock trades have to be semi uncontrolled.

        Selling or buying BILLIONS of dollars of stock will affect price and must be done with out fore knowledge of company moves.

        Just saying.

  2. I have always wondered, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to buy back the whole company. Then Wallstreet can fuck off and we can all stop reading boring stories about the share price?

    1. Even Apple doesn’t have enough cash to buy back the entire company at a high share price. It’d be utter folly to sacrifice your war chest *and* saddle your company with an unsustainable amount of debt there is no guarantee it would be able to service down the road.

    2. The short answer is that Apple simply can’t “buy itself”. Each share Apple buys to take out of circulation increases the value of the remaining shares in the hands of shareholders. (If Apple were to buy all but the one last share, the owner of that share would be the lone owner of Apple Inc.

      Taking Apple private would take external money.

    1. And at a substantially higher-than-expected average selling price per phone due to favorable mix. Basically, analysts wanted to see 4 million more phones sold, yet revenue, profit, and EPS pretty much met or exceeded expectations on the lower-than-analysts-guided number, as I recall.

      1. Disney gets them all the Disney movie, music, and TV content, plus Pixar and Lucasfilm. It also gets them ABC and ESPN, as well as the History channel, and a list of about 200 lesser known content companies. What does Ford get them? Sprint would make more sense than Ford. Sprint owns Clearwire’s wireless frequency licenses that can reach about 80% of the world’s population.

          1. An Apple designed car would be a killer. Voice controls for radio, wipers and lights that are automatically controlled, built in system diagnostic displays and analysis, built in Siri style navigation and maps. Voice controlled ECU modes (Siri…race mode please!) would be nice. Rear view camera, radar detector, collision avoidance, and near-object recognition built in and automatic. A built in garage door opener remote…Hell, a whole house remote, lights, locks, etc. I could go on forever…

  3. Apple should just buy HBO and offer a free subscription on Apple TV. HBO is one of the only reasons people hesitate to cut the cord. Buy shelling out a few tenths of a percent of their war chest for this acquisition, Apple could take the cable companies out of the TV equation overnight.

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