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Apple CEO Asks Investors to Keep Eyes on Future, Not on Firm’s Stock

illustrated image of apple inc logoApple CEO Tim Cook is urging investors to look at the big picture rather than focusing on the five-month slide of the technology titan’s stock.

Cook, during Apple’s annual meeting with shareholders in Cupertino, Calif., said the company also is disappointed by its sliding shares.

“I don’t like it either,” Cook said of the stock’s plunge from its record high of $705 last September, but added the firm continues to be steadfast in its long-term strategy. That strategy, he said, will bring in revenue.

He also described 2012 as “an incredible year of innovation,” adding Apple is working as hard as ever and “has some great stuff coming.”

When Cook was asked by a shareholder if he still thought hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s lawsuit was silly, the CEO responded: “I do.”

“I strongly believe it was a silly sideshow,” he said. “I don’t think the issue of returning cash to shareholders is silly — we’re seriously considering it.”

Einhorn sued Apple in a bid to convince the company to distribute more of its $137 billion stockpile — one of the largest among technology companies — to investors.

Cook also told shareholders they are often on his mind and those of his fellow executives.

“We think about you a lot — probably more than you know,” he said.

Shareholders also voted to re-elect all eight of Apple’s board members: Cook, chairman and former CEO of Genentech Arthur Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Intuit William Campbell, chairman and CEO of J. Crew Millard Drexler, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Robert Iger, former Avon executive chairman Andrea Jung and former chairman and CEO of Northrop Grumman Corporation Ronald Sugar.

Any board members who had failed to secure a majority vote from shareholders would have been forced to resign their position.

By the end of the meeting, Apple’s stock had dipped an additional $7 to $441.

 

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