CEO Tim Cook, has reaped $41.5 million after taxes from his most significant share sale in the last two years, as disclosed by a recent U.S. securities filing. Before accounting for taxes, the 511,000 shares he sold were estimated to be worth about $87.8 million. This move comes on the heels of Cook's previous lucrative transaction in August 2021, where he pocketed a whopping $355 million from stock sales.
Following this recent sale, Cook retains approximately 3.3 million Apple shares in his portfolio, currently valued at around $565 million.
However, all is not rosy for the tech giant's stock performance. Apple shares have seen a 13% dip since hitting a record high of $198.23 in July. This decline is attributed to growing concerns among investors about the slower than anticipated recovery in smartphone demand globally.
In a strategic move last month, Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 15 series. Notably, the company chose not to increase its prices, which many experts believe is a nod to the ongoing global smartphone market downturn.
This sentiment seems to be echoed by some analysts who recently downgraded Apple's stock from “overweight” to “sector-weight”. KeyBanc highlighted concerns about a potential slowdown in sales growth in the U.S. – which is Apple's largest market – in the upcoming fourth quarter. This anticipation is linked to the projection that fewer Americans are looking to upgrade their phones, amidst soaring inflation rates.
KeyBanc's analyst, Brandon Nispel, reportedly indicated that U.S. sales might face challenges into the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 due to a decrease in consumer spending. Nispel pointed out that while a preference for high-end iPhone models could elevate the average selling prices, it might not significantly influence the total unit sales.
To further emphasize the challenging landscape for smartphone manufacturers, a study by research agency Canalys indicates a grim forecast for 2023. They predict a 12% drop in North American smartphone shipments for the year.