Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has purchased $14 billion of its own shares in the two weeks since releasing the financial results that did not go very well with Wall Street expectations, CEO Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Apple Stock

Apple buyback program a record

Tim Cook said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was “surprised” to see an 8% decline in shares on Jan. 28 following the report of lower iPhone sales than expected. Cook also warned that the revenue for the current quarter may drop compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Cook said that he wanted to be “aggressive and opportunistic.” Apple has purchased more than $40 billion of its shares over the past 12 months, which is a record buyback for any company over a similar span, said Mr. Cook.

“It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do,” said Mr. Cook, and he added that the company is not just saying but also following up with actions.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) previously announced the plan to repurchase $60 billion of its own shares, and the current purchases are its part. According to Cook, the iPhone maker purchased $12 billion of the shares through an “accelerated” repurchase program, and $2 billion from the open market. More details on the buyback program will be disclosed in March or April.

War of words

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will hold its shareholders‘ meeting on Feb. 28, when activist Carl Icahn will try to force the company to be more aggressive with its $160 billion cash pile. Icahn, who holds around $4 billion worth of Apple shares, urged investors to vote on his proposal that the company buy another $50 billion of its own shares by the end of September. Responding to the statement made by the CEO, Mr. Icahn said that, just like Cook, he is also confident about the company.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said he wants to “be able to adjust for the long-term interest of the shareholders, not for the short-term shareholder, not for the day trader.”

Mr. Cook might be hinting towards Icahn’s proposal, when he said, “We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire, or something may happen in the stock market that’s unpredictable.” This statement might mean that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would like to reserve cash for future acquisitions or to protect the company from uncertainty rather than complying with Icahn’s proposal.

Till now, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not acquired any big companies and has not spent more than $1 billion on any single deal. According to Cook, the company acquired 21 companies over the past 15 months.

On Thursday, Apple stock closed at $512.51, up 0.58%.