Hot topics at the event included the company's $137 billion cash hoard and its recent share price decline. CEO Tim Cook noted both his own and the board's displeasure with Apple's share price compared to a few months ago. Nonetheless, he reiterated Apple's focus on the long term.
The Apple chief also described the recent lawsuit by Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn as a "silly sideshow," but added that Apple is actively thinking about returning cash to shareholders.
True to form, the CEO did not divulge any specific details on the company's product road map, but did say that Apple has products coming this year. He also hinted that the tech giant may be looking at new categories.The Apple news mill continued to churn throughout the week. On Thursday, Apple announced that downloads of its iTunes U content have topped 1 billion. On Friday, Einhorn dropped his lawsuit against the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. Einhorn's move followed a recent court ruling in his favor. Also on Friday, Credit Suisse cut its Apple earnings estimates, citing concerns about the iPhone. Apple shares ended the week down 4.5% at $430.47.
Daily deals site Groupon (GRPN) announced the departure of CEO Andrew Mason in a press release sent out late on Thursday. Groupon's Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis have replaced Mason on an interim basis. The company's weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results and guidance on Wednesday had already prompted speculation about Mason's future. In the release announcing Mason's departure, Groupon noted that its first-quarter outlook remains unchanged. Groupon shares ended the week down 11% at $5.10.
IBM (IBM) hiked its target for big data and analytics revenue at the company's investor briefing on Thursday and reiterated its long-term financial goal. The tech giant increased its 2015 revenue target for analytics and big data to $20 billion from $16 billion. Back in 2010, IBM had set an initial goal of $10 billion by 2015. As expected, IBM reiterated its road map of delivering operating earnings of at least $20 per share to investors in 2015. IBM shares ended the week down 0.9% at $202.91.