CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple CEO Tim Cook is still trying to convince shareholders that the iPhone maker remains a step ahead in the race to innovate, even though recent performance of the company’s stock lags behind other technology trendsetters.
In making his case Friday, Cook struck a familiar refrain during Apple’s annual shareholder meeting at the company’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters.
Cook promised that Apple Inc. is working on new gadgets that will expand the company’s product line-up beyond smartphones, tablets, music players and personal computers without divulging any details. He cited the company’s nearly $4.5 billion investment in research and development during the last fiscal year and the completion of 23 acquisitions in the past 16 months as a precursor of the big things to come.
On the financial side, Cook told shareholders that Apple’s board will announce whether the company will increase its dividend and spend more money buying back its own stock by the end of April. Money management is a major issue for Apple because the company is sitting on nearly $159 billion in cash, including $124 billion held in overseas accounts to avoid U.S. taxes.