Apple Buys Back $14 Billion Of Its Stock In A Fortnight

7 February 2014

Wall Street Journal:

Responding to Mr. Cook’s statement about his confidence in Apple, Mr. Icahn said, “So am I.”

Apple’s Mr. Cook said he wants to “be able to adjust for the long-term interest of the shareholders, not for the short-term shareholder, not for the day trader.

“We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire or something may happen in the stock market that’s unpredictable,” he continued.

If you read the comment’s on the Journal piece, many people say that this is a poor use of capital, that Apple should be investing in research and development rather than its own stock.

The problem is, Apple is in a weird position where it can comfortably do both. They are doing the biggest share buybacks in history and still have hundreds of billions of dollars in retained earnings. It is estimated that Apple spent $150 million creating the original iPhone. Even if the ‘next big thing’ cost a hundred times that much to produce, Apple could still do 10 big things with the capital they have available today.