Apple Inc is wasting shareholder's money—this is something that Justin Danhof, Esq, director of the National Center's Free Enterprise Project, representative for National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), was assured of after the shareholder's meeting that happened on Friday.
Immediately after the shareholder's meeting, CEO Tim Cook made headlines for showing an alter ego—one that is far from his calm demeanor.
During the meeting, Mr Danhof asked Mr Cook to be transparent about the money that Apple Inc spends on its environmental activism. He then asked Mr Cook if he can commit to other plans that could assure investors of ROI.
"When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don't consider the bloody ROI," Mr Cook lashed out.
"If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."
And to the investors who were only interested in holding Apple stock for few weeks or couple of months:
"I encourage you not to invest in Apple."
The NCPPR is an Apple shareholder, as are National Center executives.
The NCPPR took aim at Mr Cook in an official statement.
"Mr. Cook made it very clear to me that if I, or any other investor, was more concerned with return on investment than reducing carbon dioxide emissions, my investment is no longer welcome at Apple," as narrated by Mr Danhof.
"Although the National Center's proposal did not receive the required votes to pass, millions of Apple shareholders now know that the company is involved with organizations that don't appear to have the best interest of Apple's investors in mind. Too often investors look at short-term returns and are unaware of corporate policy decisions that may affect long-term financial prospects. After today's meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?", Mr Danhof said.
ROI is a serious issue for Apple Inc, as the company is holding US$159 billion in cash, with US$124 billion held in accounts outside the U.S. to avoid taxes.
Investors had been showing apprehension since trends showed that Apple Inc's market share in the smartphone market is dwindling. The strong competitors of Apple were getting large portions of the smartphone market with its offerings of more affordable devices.
On Friday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed at US$526.24, dipped to US$1.43—25 per cent lower to a peak price of US$705.07 in Sept of 2012. Meanwhile, its rival Google Inc, jumped by 66 per cent.
In as much as Mr Cook expressed confidence about Apple's stock as he had seen the stock worsen in the span of 15 years but always overcome hurdles and ascend after launch of new products, investors remained worried.
For Amy Ridenour, chairman of the NCPPR, as the CEO of Apple Inc, Mr Cook is responsible for bringing home the bacon.
"Tim Cook, like every other American, is entitled to his own political views and to be an activist of any legal sort he likes on his own time," said Ms Ridenour. "And if Tim Cook, private citizen, does not care that over 95 percent of all climate models have over-forecast the extent of predicted global warming, and wishes to use those faulty models to lobby for government policies that raise prices, kill jobs and retard economic growth and extended lifespans in the Third World, he has a right to lobby as he likes. But as the CEO of a publicly-held corporation, Tim Cook has a responsibility to, consistent with the law, to make money for his investors."