Apple (AAPL) shares are down 40 cents at $162.32, as the company goes into its annual shareholder meeting today, prompting a couple of observations from the Street.
Proxy materials are available on Apple's investor-relations website. The two proposals presented by shareholders are for Apple to lower the barrier for shareholders to nominate board members, and for Apple to form a "human rights committee," to enhance Apple's practices with respect to human rights. Apple recommends shareholders vote against both.
On the negative front, Instinet's Jeffrey Kvaal reiterates a Neutral rating on Apple stock, writing that with what seems to be lower-than-expected demand for the iPhone X, "it now seems legitimate to wonder if Apple is entering a post supercycle era."
If not now, then when? is the question for Kvaal, but he doesn't see a "supercycle" materializing anytime soon:
We model 226mn iPhones in FY18, below the iPhone 6 cycle of 231mn despite a user base that is ~50% higher. Drivers include longer upgrade rates and a rising number of secondhand phones. While upgrade rates lengthening cannot last forever...neither can rapid user base growth. The prudent assumption may be iPhone demand will normalize across a cycle.
And BTIG Research's Walter Piecyk wonders if Apple will receive lots of questions about its plans for stepped-up capital return, signaled in its fiscal Q1 call on Feb. 1.
He acknowledges the annual meeting is "not typically a source of new information for the company," and that management typically discusses capital returns plans in the April-May time frame.
Still, he observes, there is a "more diverse group of questioners" at the annual meeting. He notes the company's claims to be spending $350 billion in the U.S. over three to five years is somewhat opaque.
One element of the Apple tax-relief release referenced a $30 billion capital investment. When we asked if that represented an increase from existing guidance, we were directed by the company to wait for the 10-Q to gain greater clarity if anything was new. The 10-Q was filed last week and there was no change to the overall capital investment plan. It is unlikely that the company will provide any details on how the geographic mix of those investments will change.