Apple buys back $14 billion in stock

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.

“It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do,” said Mr. Cook, speaking in a conference room at the company’s corporate headquarters here. “We’re not just saying that. We’re showing that with our actions.”

The story also notes that Apple purchased 21 companies in the last 15 months. As usual, Apple is being very strategic with every move it makes.

  • Is that a normal pattern of company purchases? Common?

    It seems excessive.

    • JohnDoey

      It is a normal thing to do. The number just looks big because Apple’s cash reserves are big, but it is less than 1% of their cash.

      • I don’t mean in terms of how much they’re spending but in past years were they this aggressive in buying companies?

        Is it a talent issue? I’ve seen several stories over the past two years about their employee retention level being low.

        Just curious.

        • matthewmaurice

          “[E]xcessive” and “aggressive” are matters of opinion, but I think in an era when Facebook offers US$ 3 BILLION for Snapchat, Apple’s acquisitions like PA Semi for US$ 278 MILLION look positively restrained in size and value.

  • willo

    Do another $150 billion worth of buybacks now. Keep making huge profits and spend excess cash on buy-backs. In a 5-6 years time you´ll have enough powder to take Apple private and leave WS behind forever.

    • normm

      You do realize that Apple buys the shares and retires them? So all of the value they spend goes to the remaining shares?

    • matthewmaurice

      Not necessarily easily (read: cheaply) done. A big portion of Apple’s “cash” is actually short-term cash-equivalent investments and many of those are from un-taxed overseas operations. The costs of converting and repatriating them may exceed the intrinsic value of the stock they buy back.

      I think the $14 billion was an easy way to throw Ichan a bone in the hopes that he’ll STFU for a while. We’ll see if that worked.

  • JohnDoey

    This is by far the biggest acquisition Apple has ever made, by more than 25x.