AAPL Snaps up Another $14B of its Stock over Past 2 Weeks

In the two weeks following its earning report that disappointed analysts, Apple has bought back another US$14 billion of its own stock. The purchase was part of the iPhone and iPad maker's $60 billion stock buyback program, and brings its total buybacks over the past 12 months up over $40 billion.

Apple buys back another $14 billion of its stockApple buys back another $14 billion of its stock

The agressive buybacks underscore the company's belief in its current product line and in what's still to come, according to CEO Tim Cook. He told the Wall Street Journal,

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. We're not just saying that. We're showing that with our actions.

Apple has been spending some of its $160 billion in cash on other companies, too. In the past 15 months, Apple has bought 21 companies, and isn't afraid to spend serious cash.

"We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire," Mr. Cook said. "We've looked at big companies. We have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company, for the right fit that's in the best interest of Apple in the long-term. None. Zero."

Mr. Cook said Apple is working its way into new markets, too, saying the company will be releasing new product categories. He didn't say exactly what that included, but did say anyone that's "reasonable" would see what the company is working on as new categories.

Based on the company's recent hiring spree, that's most likely wearable technology that focuses on health and fitness. Jay Blahnik, who helped Nike design the FuelBand, and Ben Schaffer, who managed design projects in Nike's research labs, both work for Apple now.

Along with former Nike employees, Apple also hired Dr. Michael O'Reiily from Masimo, Ravi Narasimhan from Vital Connect, Nancy Dougherty from Sano, Ueyn Block from C8 MediSensors, Todd Whitehurts from Senseonics, and sleep expert Roy J.E.M. Raymann from Philips Research. Rounding out the fashion side of wearable tech, Apple brought former Yves St Laurent executive Paul Deneve on staff last year.

The company is also on the hunt for physiologists to design, conduct, and interpret tests that measure body activity.

Apple isn't alone in its excitement about the company's financial future. Big-name investor Carl Icahn has bought over $3 billion in Apple stock, and added another $500 million to his portfolio after the company's first fiscal quarter earnings report in January.

Mr. Icahn would like to see Apple increase its stock buyback program by an additional $50 billion, and that'll be a topic at the company's annual shareholder meeting at the end of February. Mr. Cook has said that Apple will announce updates to its buyback program in March or April, but didn't hint at what those changes might include.

Apple's stock closed at $512.51 on Thursday and was trading at $521.19 in the pre-market, up 8.68 (1.69%).