NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) CEO Tim Cook recently made comments that are disheartening for shareholders and may signal the glory days of appreciating Apple shares have passed.
Cook thoroughly dropped the ball on what should have been an easy layup for any company executive, especially a seasoned one of Cook's caliber.
What has me wondering, as should every shareholder, is, if Cook truly said what he means and he is shifting Apple's focus from an aggressive luxury tech innovator into more of an increasingly philanthropic focused company.
By now you may have read about Cook snapping back at shareholders during the company's last annual meeting. If you haven't, it followed along these lines.
- A proposal from a politically right-leaning National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) calling for Apple to provide greater expense transparency of renewable energy/carbon mitigation efforts to shareholders failed overwhelmingly.
- A NCPPR representative questioned Cook about the said expenses and requested Apple to avoid spending money on environmental causes that don't add shareholder value.
- Cook responded, in part, "If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."
- Cook reportedly said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment was not the primary consideration on such issues.
I was an Apple fan: not the products, but the stock. I prefer Microsoft's (MSFT) operating system because I know it and have a comfort level. For the most part, I didn't have much of a choice because Windows offered greater business software variety at the time I chose my path. The same can be said about my Google (GOOG) Android-based phone. I used Gmail and Google's calendar when I switched from a Windows-based phone a few years ago.
It's not hard for me to separate the company and its stock, and I believe it may help that I don't use Apple products because it helps remove biases. Also, I'm bullish for Microsoft despite my despising Windows 8. Unfortunately, I can't say same for Apple any longer. While not a bear and not about to short, here are my concerns.