Another measure offered by a shareholder would require executives to hold more company stock -- to ensure that their interests are better aligned with those of investors. Apple defends its existing structure, which includes salary, bonus and shares that vest over time. The company says that arrangement keeps management focused on performance over the long haul.
In the face of recent criticism, some investors want to see Cook address investor issues more assertively, said Walter Price, managing director at RCM Capital Management. IPhone sales are slowing as the smartphone market becomes increasingly saturated, and Apple needs to show that it can appeal to customers in developing countries where Samsung Electronics Co. has excelled with less-expensive models, Price said.
Some investors are holding Apple to unrealistically high expectations, given its past successes, Obuchowski said. Apple’s fiscal first-quarter results represented one of the best quarters the technology industry has ever seen. Still, the numbers, released last month, fell short of some analysts’ projections.
There’s evidence that growth is decelerating. Apple forecast that second-quarter revenue would increase less than 10 percent, the slowest rate since 2009. Rivals such as Google Inc., Samsung and Amazon.com Inc. are introducing compelling new products to challenge Apple’s stronghold in smartphones and tablets, Obuchowski said.
Some investors are abandoning the stock after a lucrative run and while they wait to see what new products Apple will introduce, he said. In the meantime, a bigger dividend or creation of new class of preferred shares may be necessary to hang on to investors who haven’t given up yet.
“They are at a point where investors are questioning what the future of Apple is,” Obuchowski said.