Apple’s annual shareholders meeting was held today, and present were many shareholders who were concerned about Apple’s decline in stock prices since September. Apple’s stock price is down 35% since its $702.10 peak in September. Its stock price is currently sitting at $443.77. This drop in stock price took out a total of $240 billion in shareholder wealth, and shareholders want to know what Apple plans on doing to change things around.
Despite the drop in stock price, Tim Cook still had an amazing 99.1% approval rate in his re-election as CEO. Cook had many discussions with shareholders about the direction Apple is going, and he says that there are many great products that Apple is planning that will help boost the company’s stock price. Cook, however, did not elaborate on what type of products these would be. The shareholders asked that Apple increase its dividends to $2.65 per share, which would turn out to be a total of $10 billion in annual dividend payments.
That’s much lower than David Einhorn, who runs the Greenlight Capital hedge fund, had planned. Einhorn, who was absent from the meeting, wanted Apple to release preferred shares called iPrefs that would offer an annual dividend of 4%. Einhorn even sued Apple in order to block a proposal from the company that would require it to receive the approval of its shareholders before issuing preferred stock.
Cook commented on Einhorn’s suggestions and lawsuit, saying, “I strongly believe it was a silly slideshow, regardless of how the judge ruled on it.” Apple had begun 2013 with $137 billion, which is much more than the $98 billion it had at the start of 2012. There was a huge influx of sales on iPhones and iPads that contributed to this number. Cook also says that he has no worries about Android having a higher market share than Apple, because in the end, all Apple wants to do is create the best products. A shareholder suggested that Apple create a computerized bicycle (iCycle?) to help boost its stock prices, erupting laughter in everyone, including Tim Cook.