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.

SEC ends review of Apple taxes

Four months after raising questions about Apple’s foreign earnings and taxes, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has ended its investigation without plans to take any further action.

Apple reports third quarter profit of $6.9 billion

Apple on Tuesday reported a profit of $6.9 billion for its fiscal third quarter. Revenue for the quarter was $35.3 billion, according to Apple. These results compare to revenue of $35 billion and net profit of $8.8 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Samsung stock tumbles despite record profit

Samsung shares tumbled almost 4% on Friday as the company pre-announced record second-quarter earnings that still missed analysts’ sky-high consensus.

It’s true that I don’t like Samsung’s blatant copying of Apple products, but I really do hate Wall St. too. It’s wrong for any company to see their stock tumble because analysts were wrong in their forecasts. It’s happened to Apple when they reported record profits and now Samsung. Analysts should be downgraded, bot the companies delivering record profits.

Irish government will not hold inquiry into Apple tax practices

An Irish parliamentary committee has voted against hauling in representatives from Google and Apple to answer for their tax affairs in the country, after the firms were accused of using Ireland as a base for their aggressive tax planning.

Good, they shouldn’t. Ireland is offering Apple—and other companies—lower taxes so they will move operations there. That’s smart business for any country. It’s up to all the other countries to ask themselves why they are taxing so much.

Apple stock got mugged

Philip Elmer-Dewitt:

Spooner, a Canadian money manager and financial columnist, likened the burst of short selling to a “swarming,” a violent street crime where “an unsuspecting innocent bystander is attacked by several culprits at once.”

I hate Wall St.

Tim Cook to testify at US Senate on taxes

Statement by Apple spokesman Steve Dowling:

“Apple is one of the largest taxpayers in the United States, having paid $6 billion in federal corporate income tax in fiscal 2012,” Dowling said in a statement. “We also help create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. by keeping our R&D in California and creating category-defining products like the iPhone, iPad and the app store, which has generated billions of dollars in sales for software developers.”

If they are going to ask Apple about its offshore money, they should ask the politicians too.

Apple’s $17 billion bond deal

Apple Inc wowed the debt markets on Tuesday with the largest non-bank bond deal in history, offering a whopping $17 billion for sale as the U.S. computer giant switches strategy to placate restless shareholders.

Sources said investors could barely submit orders fast enough to get in on the deal from Apple, the only major tech company without a single penny of debt on its books.

No debt and they still had to placate shareholders.

Apple more than doubles Capital Return Program

Apple today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a significant increase to the Company’s program to return capital to shareholders. The Company expects to utilize a total of $100 billion of cash under the expanded program by the end of calendar 2015. This represents a $55 billion increase to the program announced last year and translates to an average rate of $30 billion per year from the time of the first dividend payment in August 2012 through December 2015.

As part of this program, the Board has increased its share repurchase authorization to $60 billion from the $10 billion level announced last year. This is the largest single share repurchase authorization in history and is expected to be executed by the end of calendar 2015. Apple also expects to utilize about $1 billion annually to net-share-settle vesting restricted stock units.

Additionally, the Board has approved a 15% increase in the Company’s quarterly dividend and today has declared a dividend of $3.05 per common share, payable on May 16, 2013 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 13, 2013. Apple is among the largest dividend payers in the world, with annual payments of about $11 billion.

Apple reports $9.5 billion second quarter profit

Apple on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit of $9.5 billion on revenue of $43.6 billion for its fiscal second quarter.

According to Apple, it sold 37.4 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 35.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold 19.5 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 11.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The company sold just under 4 million Macs, compared to 4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Rating Apple analysts

Ernie Varitimos:

Ask yourself, how many times have you tried to make sense of an analyst’s statement, where they’ve demonstrated a complete misunderstanding of Apple culture, the ecosystem, or the fan base. This isn’t universal of course, some analysts are very knowledgeable and huge Apple fans, but even a respected Apple bull like Gene Munster ranks only in the middle of the pack, well behind several amateur analysts. Some of the most influential analysts rank near the bottom of the pack, like Charlie Wolf and Kathy Huberty.

I have little to no respect for financial analysts.

Einhorn drops lawsuit against Apple

Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital on Friday withdrew the suit it brought against Apple over a proxy proposal that would have allowed shareholders to vote on eliminating preferred stock from the company charter.

I’m glad that’s over.

Court grants Einhorn injunction against Apple

A judge handed outspoken hedge fund manager David Einhorn a victory in his court battle with Apple Inc on Friday, blocking the iPhone maker from moving forward with a shareholder vote on a controversial proposal to limit the company’s ability to issue preferred stock.

It’s going to be an interesting shareholder meeting.

Hedge funds responsible for Apple stock decline

Some of the biggest hedge funds that helped make Apple Inc a stock market darling lost faith and dumped their stakes in the fourth quarter, fueling the massive drop in the iPhone maker’s share price.

Noted stock pickers including Leon Cooperman and Thomas Steyer unloaded billions of dollars of Apple shares between Sept. 30 and Dec. 31, according to disclosure documents filed on Thursday.

Apple files response to shareholder lawsuit

Apple filed its formal response to the lawsuit initiated by Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn and blasted the complaint as being without merit and nothing less than an attempt to hold shareholders “hostage” by forcing Apple to acquiesce to a specific plan for the issuing of preferred shares that would primarily benefit Greenlight Capital.

This is going to be interesting.

Another investor sues Apple

The new lawsuit, filed by an investor from Pennsylvania in U.S. District Court in New York, seeks to block Apple from moving forward with a February 27 shareholder vote on two proxy proposals.

One of the proposals is the same measure Einhorn targeted that would eliminate from the company charter Apple’s ability to issue preferred stock.