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Apple keeps purse strings tight

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 01:55

Feb. 27 - Apple is holding on to its cash for now. The tech giant declined to offer any new ways to distribute its $137 billion cash pile at its annual shareholder’s meeting. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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If cash is king- Apple rules the tech kingdom in the U.S.- but it's not giving any more up for now. At its annual meeting Apple's CEO Tim Cook says he feels shareholder's pain- and that the board remains in "very very active" discussions for cash sharing. But he didn't put his money where his mouth is. Apple is sitting on more than $137 billion - and growing. That works out to $145 per share. Shares that have lost ground- down about 35 percent from their peak in September. Morningstar's Brian Colello believes it's just a matter of time before the company does boost the dividend. SOUNDBITE: BRIAN COLELLO, SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It would be much more of a disappointment if we don't hear something in a month or so. Again, I think they announced the initial dividend in March of last year so I would expect something in March but I think if there is no announcement before earnings in late April that would be a big issue." Regardless, he thinks the stock could go back to $600. SOUNDBITE: BRIAN COLELLO, SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We think they will grow revenue at a good pace but there are concerns - some understandable, some perhaps not about gross margin deterioration. We think pricing will hold up a little better than what The Street is anticipating and so we do think it's a buying opportunity." But Cook also took on complaints about the product pipeline- saying Apple was working on new product categories- but it's all a secret. And that, Colello says is all part of Apple's charm. SOUNDBITE: BRIAN COLELLO, SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think Apple's secrecy is part of its secret sauce and part of the magic and I don't think there is- I would not have expected any sort of product announcement at the meeting today I think shareholders are willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt and let them be secretive but it does cause a bit of a black box and uncertainty and perhaps part of the recent sell off is a fear that perhaps Apple has nothing left." That hush-hush stance of course just creates more buzz and speculation- including some kind of product to revolutionize the television or TV content- or a smart iWatch.

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Apple keeps purse strings tight

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 01:55