Late last week news broke that an Apple shareholder, R. Andre Klein, had filed suit against several senior officers of Apple. We've embedded the filing below so you can have a read through it should you wish. Because this is a fairly complex filing I've taken the time to read through it. What I'll offer you here is a simple explanation of the filing along with my opinion in the matter.
Being the world's largest technology company has its perks, including a stream of almost limitless cash. But the law of large numbers also starts to kick in, and a company of Apple's size doesn't seem capable of doing super productive things with all this money.
Last night Apple published its financial results for Q3 fiscal 2014. iMore has already posted a very detailed set of notes from the quarterly conference call, so I'll just recap a few key numbers and then dive into what I think the quarter means to Apple longer term. As per usual, keep in mind I do own shares in the company and I have no plans to sell them anytime soon. My comments represent my thinking and you should not interpret any of this as investing advice.
During its Q3 2014 conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook elaborated on the recently announced IBM partnership, and as expected it's all about the penetration. While Apple's iPad, for example, has been deployed by 93% of the Global 500, the penetration is only about 20%. That's great breadth, not so great depth. By contrast, Cook pointed out, laptops in general enjoy 60% penetration. If Apple + IBM could drive iPad much greater iPad penetration, the "walls would shake".
Yesterday's formal announcement of a partnership between two computing giants, Apple and IBM, came as a big surprise to most industry observers. We hadn't seen any leaks on the subject, and it wasn't something I can recall being the topic of any predictions articles or other "this makes sense" style of article. On the surface, however, there are numerous reasons why it definitely does make sense.
Apple and IBM have announced a sweeping new partnership designed to bring the best of both companies together and, in doing so, make mobile in enterprise better. The agreement, which includes industry-specific solutions, dedicated apps for iPhone and iPad, cloud services optimized for iOS, AppleCare support for enterprise, and packaged services from IBM, aims to meld IBM's big data and analytics with Apple's device and experience savvy.
Considering how successful Apple has been it's not unreasonable to wonder … does it make sense for Cook to add new members to the board of directors? That's what the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today. The crux was that the current board is from the Steve Jobs era, with most of the directors over 63 years of age, half of them having been on the board for more than a decade, if not longer. So, given all that, I think it does.
Earlier this week rumors surfaced that Nuance Communications is up for sale. Apple is reportedly a huge customer of Nuance, using the firm's voice recognition software to help power Siri. So, if Nuance really is up for sale, should Apple be the ones who close the deal?
Yesterday Apple's stock started trading post 7-1 split. For every share that existed before there are now 6 new shares alongside it. If you owned 100 shares of Apple you now own 700 shares. Instead of the stock trading above $600 it now trades in the $90s.
Apple announced the split in late April alongside the Q2 results. At the time I explained how splits work and how they don't mean anything from a financial perspective. It would be similar to taking your giant slice of pizza and cutting that slice into 7 smaller slices. You'd still have exactly the same amount of pizza.