Mr. Cook said Apple was "surprised" by the 8% decline in its shares on Jan. 28, the day after it reported quarterly results, and wanted to be "aggressive" and "opportunistic." With the latest purchases, Mr. Cook said Apple had bought back more than $40 billion of its shares over the past 12 months, which Mr. Cook said was a record for any company over a similar span.
"It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do," said Cook, speaking in a conference room at the company's headquarters. "We're not just saying that. We're showing that with our actions."
Apple is planning to repurchase $60 billion of its own shares and will disclose 'updates' to its buyback program in March or April.
Notably, Carl Icahn is pressuring Apple to be more aggressive with the buyback and has asked shareholders to vote on a proposal which calls for an additional buyback of $50 billion; however, Apple has asked shareholders to vote against the proposal.
"You want to be able to adjust for the long-term interest of the shareholders, not for the short-term shareholder, not for the day trader," Mr. Cook said. "We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire or something may happen in the stock market that's unpredictable."
Cook says Apple has bought 21 companies over the past 15 months and although it doesn't typically make large acquisitions, it would do so if the acquisition made sense.
"We've looked at big companies. We don't have a predisposition not to buy big companies. The money is also not burning a hole in our pocket where we say, 'let's make a list of 10 and pick the best one,'" said Mr. Cook. "We have no problem spending ten figures for the right company, for the right fit that's in the best interest of Apple in the long-term. None. Zero."
More in the full report below..