A couple of hot topics surrounding Apple were recently addressed by none other than the company’s CEO himself.
Fortune reports that, at a shareholder meeting on Friday (Feb. 26), Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook spoke about the tech giant’s plans regarding its stock dividend, as well as the company’s ongoing fight with the FBI over privacy, specifically as it relates to a court order ruling that Apple unlock an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
Regarding the latter issue, Cook stated that his company remains “a staunch advocate for our customers’ privacy and personal safety,” according to Fortune, which notes that Apple filed a legal brief on Thursday (Feb. 25) opposing the aforementioned court order on the grounds of free speech (as well as congressional precedent and concerns about the overall security of other Apple devices).
In addressing the strictly business aspects of Apple’s plans, meanwhile, Cook shared at the meeting that Apple intends to raise its dividend on an annual basis. While, as Fortune notes, this strategy might be welcomed by investors, it also puts a cap on Apple’s potential as a growth stock.
To support this likelihood, the outlet points to the fact that major U.S. growth mutual funds — motivated by industry concerns that iPhone sales have plateaued — have been some of the biggest sellers of Apple shares over the past six months. Additionally, in January, Apple forecast its first revenue decline in 13 years, along with the slowest increase to date in shipments of its ubiquitous smartphone.