Tim Cook Says Apple Is "Open to Acquisitions of Any Size"

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Apple CEO Tim Cook

The iPhone maker sold more of the devices than expected but revenue was down 9 percent year-over-year.

Three days after AT&T announced an $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's open to making a large purchase of his own. 

When asked Tuesday about his strategy around larger acquisitions during the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call, Cook responded, "We're open to acquisitions of any size that are of strategic value where we can deliver better products to our customers and innovate more. We look at a whole variety of companies and, based on that, we choose whether to move forward or not. We're definitely open and we definitely look." 

Cook's comments come not long after Apple was reported to be among those parties interested in Time Warner's business. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Apple approached Time Warner, which owns Warner Bros., HBO, CNN and Turner, earlier this year but talks didn't progress beyond the initial phase. The new report follows on a Financial Times report that Apple's Eddy Cue also made an approach last year. 

Asked for further commentary around Apple's interest in the television industry, Cook confirmed that "television has intense interest with me and many other people here." 

He continued: "We have started with focusing on some original content. ... I think it's a great opportunity for us both from a creation point of view and from an ownership point of view, so it's an area that we're focused on." 

During the fiscal fourth quarter, Apple sold more iPhones than analysts were expecting but still posted year-over-year revenue declines that have some questioning the long-term growth potential for its signature device business. 

The Cupertino, Calif., iPhone maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $46.9 billion, down 9 percent from the same period last year. Earnings fell 19 percent to $1.67 per share.

The company's financial results were in line with analyst expectations. Wall Street, polled by Thomson Reuters, was expecting revenue of $46.9 billion and earnings of $1.65 a share. But this quarter marks the third consecutive decline in quarterly revenue, which contributed to a slight drop in share price during afterhours trading on the Nasdaq.  

Apple sold 45.51 million iPhones during the quarter, slightly more than the 45 million analysts were anticipating. The new iPhone 7 went on sale just two weeks before the end of the quarter, so this next quarter will be where most of those sales are reflected.

"We're thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2," Cook said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, Apple's services division, which includes revenue from Apple Music, Apple Pay and other non-hardware offerings, was up 24 percent to a record $6.3 billion. Cook noted in his statement that the segment was seeing "incredible momentum." 

The company is anticipating a strong holiday sales season, issuing revenue guidance for the fiscal first quarter of 2017 between $76 billion and $78 billion. 

Apple shares closed the day up less than one percent to $118.25.

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