Apple held its shareholder meeting day today, and CEO Steve Jobs made an appearance.
When asked about Apple’s huge mountain of cash, he recited Apple’s traditional line that he would rather have cash at his disposal instead of dividends or buybacks, Bloomberg reports.
He also got a joke in: When asked what keeps him up at night, Jobs deadpanned, “shareholders meetings,” according to Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt.
Bloomberg’s Connie Guglielmo and Rochelle Garner report that “Apple is holding onto cash to take ‘big, bold’ risks, Jobs, 55, said at the company’s shareholder meeting in Cupertino, California today.”
That doesn’t mean Apple is going to go out and buy a huge company.
Earlier this week, COO Tim Cook said that Apple has and would consider large acquisitions, but that historically, the company has acquired companies for technology and talent, usually for small sums of money. Our paraphrased transcription of Cook’s remarks:
Historically, we have acquired companies for technology and talent. And they have been on the small size. We’ve looked at large companies, but we have not had a large company pass a strategic and a financial test. We don’t let our money burn a hole in our pocket. Unless we find something that really makes sense for Apple shareholders, we’re not going to do it. The small ones have been incredibly valuable for us, mainly from the talent POV, but also from technology. If we find a large one, we won’t be shy about it. But we won’t do it to do it.