It’s no secret that Wall Street questions the longevity of Apple’s long-term, material success since the passing of its founder, and later, savior Steve Jobs. Now, there’s reason to be concerned with it’s mid-term and possibly even short-term market viability.
From a products and consumer perspective, Apple may always have a loyal following. Though, from a management perspective, the specter of Ivy League, Corporate pin-headed decision making haunts Apple, yet again.
On March 19, 2012, Apple announced that it would pay a dividend to shareholders. Now, over 2 months later, while the rest of the market is doing alright, Apple is down over 10% and can’t seem to hold it up.
Tim Cook, Apple’s hand-picked successor to Steve Jobs, seems to be a nice guy, respected and intelligent. It was well-known to industry insiders that there were certain shareholder-related decisions that the board may have been in favor of that Jobs clearly was not. One of which, the decision to pay a dividend on shares, was a well-known difference of opinion. Apple’s near $100 billion dollar cash stockpile has become a topic of discussion, and a dividend offering is a way a cash-heavy company can re-invest to shore up its own share price.
So what went wrong? Apple’s share price doesn’t need any ‘shoring up.’ It was already strong, on fundamentals. The future (at least the near future) looks bright, market share, brand loyalty, etc etc.
So, it seems that the corporate pinheads couldn’t wait long after Jobs’ death to resume corporate short-sighted decision making. And their very first act of defiance has already cost shareholders over 10%. What’s next? Discontinue the iPad? Base the iPhone on Android? Sell out to Microsoft? Whatever shareholders think is right…right?
In October of 2011, the world didn’t just lose a visionary, Steve Jobs didn’t just die, but the promise of Apple may have died with him. I hope I’m wrong, I really do.
By the way, thank you Mr. Cook for forfeiting your $75 million dividend last week. I may have taken it, then donated it to small businesses. So I say “Down With Overpaid Corporate Pinheads.”