Apple CEO Tim Cook's talk at Goldman Sachs on Tuesday morning didn't help his company's stock, which gave back some recent gains throughout the morning session. Mr. Cook talked about innovation, his company's efforts to return more money to its shareholders, and more, but investors were apparently unimpressed.
As of this writing, shares of Apple Inc. were trading at U$471.20, down $8.73 (-1.82 percent).
$AAPL has declined some 30 percent from its all-time closing high of $702.10 set on September 19th. Wall Street reacted negatively to the iPhone 5, Apple Maps, iPad mini, and reports of slowing component orders that were interpreted as falling demand for iPhone.
Apple turned in results for the December quarter that hit some expectations (iPhone), missed some (Mac), and beat others (iPad), but the news wasn't enough to reverse course for the company's stock. Just the opposite, in fact, as $AAPL declined to as low as $435 per share in the aftermath of the earnings report.
The stock bounced back to the $450 per share range in the days that followed, but it got goosed last Friday and this Monday to the $480 range as the company gave some indication that it might consider returning more of its vast cash hoard of $137 billion to shareholders.
On Tuesday morning, CEO Tim Cook was the star attraction at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, the second year in a row Mr. Cook has spoken at the event. During his one-hour on-stage interview, Mr. Cook called a shareholder lawsuit from Greenlight Capital a silly sideshow, said that Apple has bought a company every other month for the last three years, and explained that Apple wasn't a hardware company.
Investor were unphased, however, and sold the stock throughout the talk. In the chart below, we marked the 10:20 AM EST starting time of the talk and the 11:20 AM EST ending time.
$AAPL Chart for the Morning of February 12th, 2013
Source: Yahoo! Finance
As you can see, Wall Street simply wasn't having it no matter what Mr. Cook said. We should also emphasize the reality that all eyes were peeled on Mr. Cook's talk. It's impossible at this point to know what exactly investors were looking for from Apple's CEO, but looking they definitely were.
In the meanwhile, expect a raft of analyst noted later on Tuesday and on Wednesday as they digest what Mr. Cook said.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.