The company has also invested in a wide range of businesses worldwide: A new store in Dubai has been a centerpiece of Apple’s new retail strategy, chief financial officer Luca Maestri noted on a conference call with analysts, while iPad sales during the quarter saw double-digit increases in key markets such as the U.S., Japan, Germany, France and greater China, CEO Tim Cook said.
But Apple also faces steep tax penalties associated with repatriating foreign earnings. Cook has been a staunch advocate of tax reform — including a measure, proposed by President Donald Trump, to have a one-time cut in repatriation taxes. That could allow Apple to put money to work buying another company or returning earnings to shareholders.
Apple, to be sure, is far from skimping in that arena.
Cook told analysts that Apple is investing $1 billion in advanced manufacturing in the U.S., as CNBC’s Jim Cramer first reported, and investing in American resources like education. Apple also declared a 63 cent dividend during the third quarter.
Still, shareholder Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki said he’d be happy with a smart deal
“The Beats acquisition was such a great move for them …. it really shows how smart good acquisitions are for Apple,” Gerber told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “I think they need to be in other businesses, I think they need to diversify so we’re not all out here praying for the iPhone 8 to be something super special, you know.”