Cook: Apple Doing What's Best for Investors
Amid declining share prices and criticisms from all sides, Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company does not have a "depression era" mentality and will continue to use its enormous cash reserves to invest in the company, while simulataneously giving back to shareholders.
"If you look at what we've done in terms of investment, last year we invested $10 billion in CapEx. We think we're goinna do a similar amount this year," Cook said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference, according to a live blog of the talk posted at the Wall Street Journal.
Cook's comments come as Apple sits on approximately $137 billion in cash, with a committment to return about $45 billion of that to investors over the next few years. "I don't know how a mentality with a depression-era mindset would have done all those things," Cook said.
Cook took time to comment on recent reports of a lawsuit filed by activist investor David Einhorn, which demands that the company pay out a larger portion of its cash reserves to investors.
Cook said he found it "bizarre" that Apple is being sued for doing something that's "good for shareholders."
"It's a silly sideshow, honestly," Cook said. "I think it would be a lot better use of funds to donate that time and money to a worthy cause."
Long a proponent of the tablet as the primary hardware format in the future, Cook also reiterated his opinion that the iPad continues to represent a huge opportunity for Apple. Putting Apple's 23 million iPads sold last year in context, Cook noted that HP in that same timeframe sold 15 million PCs.
"If you look at the full year last year, there were more iPads sold than HP sold of its entire PC line-up. There has been a sea-change. We're in the early innings of this game," Cook said.
Shares of Apple were down less than a precent to $475.65 in early trading. That's off from a 52-week high of $704.