Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is at it again. The iPhone maker and Wall Street darling has been fending off activist investor Carl Icahn’s calls for more share buybacks by saying it planned to use a portion of its $159 billion cash hoard for “significant acquisitions” for many months, and the company has been on a buying spree ever since. In its most recent 4Q 2013 report, Apple revealed that it had spent a whopping $525 million on acquisitions in the quarter, more than doubling the $254 million spent on acquisitions in 4Q 2012.
Probable Apple acquisitions
According to analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo, the $525 million Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) spent buying companies last quarter probably included at least three deals. His sources suggest the deals were:
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- The company developing personal assistant software Cue was reported to be bought for at least $35 million
- PrimeSense, a business mainly involved in 3D motion-sensor development, was reportedly acquired in November for $360 million
- Social media analytics company Topsy was also rumored to have been acquired for $200 million in early December.
These numbers don’t add up to exactly $525 million. This, according to AppleInsider, “… would suggest that either Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) paid less than was reported, or some of the deals were actually completed prior to the quarter.”
Acquisitions leading to new features and products
Historically, many of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s acquisitions have led to new products, features and services from the company. For example, AuthenTec’s fingerprint scanning hardware ended up in the iPhone 5s as Touch ID, and the company 2008 acquisition of Lala paved the way for iTunes Match and cloud-streaming music.
Furthermore, a decent chunk of the company’s 2013 buys were related to mapping software and technologies, and AppleInsider says this likely means the company is trying to improve own Maps product. Earlier 2013 acquisitions included navigation firm HopStop, crowd-sourced mapping data firm Locationary, and indoor GPS company WifiSLAM.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is trading up 15 cents at $500.90, as of 12:54 PM ET today.