Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had a chance to do a something for shareholders who have seen the stock drop from $202 to $124 in a little over two months. Company founder Steve Jobs is a billionaire, so he is probably still doing OK.
Concerns about slowing iPod sales and Apple’s ability to hit its ambitious iPhone sales targets have spooked investors. Wall St. analysts can’t drop their price targets on the company fast enough. Mac sales are doing well, but Apple is a three-legged stool. It tips over if one leg is removed.
Mr. Jobs has $20 billion in cash and short-term investment in Apple’s accounts. His investors are in trouble. He might have spread a little of that around. Apple does not need the capital. It is highly unlikely to buy another company. It generates more cash each quarter.
At yesterday’s annual meeting management told all of the company’s broke investors that there would be no share buy-back and no dividend. It was an ill-timed and selfish move. Apple shareholder are typically very loyal, own the company’s products, and love Steve Jobs.
Mr. Jobs has shown recently that he has feet of clay. He is a cheapskate as well.
Douglas A. McIntyre