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.