Feb. 23 - Apple was mum at an annual shareholder meeting regarding plans for almost $100 billion dollars in cash, only acknowledging that the company is considering its options. Bobbi Rebell reports.
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PLEASE NOTE : THIS EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL
Apple has been sitting on a mountain of cash; $98 billion to be exact. But at the company's shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook said that he has been "Thinking very deeply" about investors demands to return the cash in the form of a dividend, but revealed nothing in the end.
But a dividend is just a matter of time according to Scott Sutherland of Wedbush Securities.
SOUNDBITE: SCOTT SUTHERLAND, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF EQUITY RESEARCH, WIRELESS DEVICES, WEDBUSH SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"I think that's the likely path for them. I think the dividend also does a second thing. It opens up the stock to a new set of shareholders that are looking for dividend paying stocks."
Other options include a share buyback or an acquisition.
Apple also adopted a measure granting shareholders a bigger say in the appointment of directors.
Shares of Apple recently hit a lifetime high of more than $526 a share.
There were a handful of protestors outside the Cupertino, California meeting- trying to draw attention to the poor working conditions at Apple's manufacturing partners in China.
And while Apple did not focus on that in its meeting, the issue remains a thorn in its side.
Boston University Management Professor James Post:
SOUNDBITE: JAMES POST, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT, BOSTON UNIVERSITY (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"Consumers want to know and do care about the conditions that lead to the creation of products so you can't operate in one part of the world with lousy work standards or pay standards and not expect that is going to be known elsewhere."
Apple did have good news in its ongoing trademark battle in China. A Shanghai court rejected a request from Chinese technology firm Proview to block the sale of iPads in the affluent Chinese city.
Attention now shifts to the much anticipated iPad 3, expected to be unveiled next month.
Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.
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