Tag - Shareholders
Although Apple's shareholders followed the recommendations of the company and rejected four shareholder-generated proposals as well as re-electing the Board of Directors, the outsider motions -- largely centered around accelerating existing company goals, such as being carbon-neutral, increasing diversity, and avoid doing business in countries with human-rights issues -- did have an influence on the company's focus nonetheless. Reverend Jesse Jackson, who attended the Annual General Meeting, said that Apple had done a good job of increasing diversity both in the general workforce and on its executive team.
Under new rules adopted by Apple in a recent amendment of its corporate bylaws, one of the eight seats on Apple's Board of Directors could be nominated by a group of shareholders who meet certain ownership requirements, otherwise known as "proxy access" to the board. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, proxy access could be used by a shareholder or group (of up to 20) that hold at least three percent of Apple Shares for at least three years, giving some powerful shareholders a potential chance to nominate their own choices for the board.
Former Apple manufacturing partner and sapphire crystal furnace manufacturer GT Advanced Technologies may soon be able to emerge from bankruptcy, following the filing of a new plan with the court that would see $60 million in new debt and $20 million in preferred stock put up by lenders early next year -- however, the plan does not include any compensation for shareholders or other investors. Under the proposal, ownership of the company would be transferred to creditors, which may still include Apple.
The annual Apple shareholders' meeting was held on Tuesday at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, with shareholders re-electing the entire board of directors, expressing confidence in the management team, and following Apple's recommendations on various proposals. The board was re-elected with 95 percent approval, but Apple CEO Tim Cook notably avoided questions about diversity on Apple's board, as well as shareholder questions about a possible Tesla relationship.
Telecommuncations carrier Verizon has often said that it supports the concept of net neutrality, but its actions undermining the concept have annoyed investors, who are now putting pressure on the firm to embrace the concpt. A group of shareholders represented by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Trillium Asset Management, has re-submitted a proposal expressing support of net neutrality, lack of support for "paid prioritization," and calling for Verizon management to comply.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have jumped at least two hurdles on their way to merging into one company. This week the majority of Comcast and Time Warner Cable shareholders voted to approve the deal for the merger. However, it appears that another problem has surfaced with the government of second-largest city that Time Warner Cable serves.
Video game developer Capcom may be left vulnerable to a stock buyout after shareholders failed to meet a majority number of votes to renew a takeover defense this week. Capcom first issued the takeover defense in 2008 to combat large-scale share purchases to gain a voice within the company. It was indicated that the company was looking to issue a renewal when it posted the 25-page plan in May.
Tech analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray has told investors in a new memo that he expects "moderate" increases in both Apple's share-buyback program and its dividend to shareholders, likely to be announced during the company's next earnings call, scheduled for April 23. This belief, he noted, is already "priced into" shares of AAPL and is unlikely to take price any higher in and of itself. The current quarterly dividend, raised last year, is $3.05 per common share.
Shareholders in Sprint have "overwhelmingly" approved the proposal by SoftBank to acquire with the carrier. A vote saw approximately 98 percent of votes cast in favor of the deal at a special shareholders meeting earlier today, which now leaves only the Federal Communications Commission as the last regulator to weigh in before the deal can be completed.
In an initial hearing on the lawsuit between David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital and Apple, where the former party is attempting to prevent a shareholder vote on a "preferred stock" proposal, a judge has sided with Einhorn and found that Apple could be breaking US Securities & Exchange Commission rules by "bundling" three issues into one shareholder voting item. At the same time, the judge didn't indicate that he couldn't find any "irreparable harm" in the proposal, lessening chances of an injunction.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE