Business Insider's Jay Yarow is live blogging Apple CEO Tim Cook's talk at the Goldman Sachs technology conference in San Francisco.
Cook is ripping into hedge fund manager David Einhorn, the founder of Greenlight Capital who took aim at Apple's massive cash reserves it has on its balance sheet last week saying it has a "depression era mentality." Greenlight said it's going to sue Apple in New York federal court to prevent a new proposal to prevent the issuance of preferred stock.
Here's Cook's reponse from Yarow's live blog:
Cook: Apple doesn't have depression era mentality. Apple makes bold product bets. Last year $10 billion CapEx, do the same this year, investing in R&D, new products, supply chain, we're acquiring some companies. I think it's hard ... or at least my definition wouldn't include investing a pair of 10s over two years, and $45 billion back to shareholders, I don't know how a company with despression era mindset would have done all those things.
Now, we do have some cash, but it's a privlige to be in this position. That we can seriously consider returning additional cash to our sharholders. Management team and the board in very active discussion, we will do so thoughtfully.
And more on the lawsuit...
Cook: It centers on Prop 2. Right of shareholders. It's not about whether returns additional cash to sharholders, not about how much to return to shareholders, not about mechanism to return it, it's about the right of shareholders. In 2012, we were looking at what we could do to improve goverence, one item that came out was we should eliminate a blank check preferred. Not that Apple can release preferred, but if we do it we need to go to our common shareholders.
Frankly, I find it bizarre that we would be sue for doing something that would be good for shareholders. It's a silly sideshow.
You're not going to see a yes on 2 sign in my front yard. It's a waste of shareholder money.
I support prop 2, I think it's the right thing for shareholders to have the right on this, I encourage others to vote on it. but, it's not something we're going to spend cycles on.
The serious thing is the return of cash, how to do it, and we're serious about that.
Prop 2 a silly sideshow. We feel so strongly that for Apple that shareholders should approve an issuance of preferred stock that common shareholders, we would go for a vote regardless. That's the way I see it.
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