No Apple capital allocation changes before 2014, shares pare losses

|About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)|By:, SA News Editor

Tim Cook states on Apple's (AAPL) FQ4 CC any changes to his company's capital allocation plan will be announced early next year. The comments arrive as Carl Icahn clamors for a new $150B buyback.

Cook also discloses Apple made 15 acquisitions in FY13. Only eight of those purchases have been identified thus far.

iPhone channel inventory stood at 14.3M at quarter's end, putting it at the low end of Apple's target range. iPad channel inventories were at 4.1M, in the middle of Apple's target range, while Mac inventories were below target.

Eight new Apple stores were opened in FQ4, raising the total to 416, of which 162 are outside the U.S. Apple plans to open 30 new stores in FY14, of which 2/3 will be outside the U.S.

Apple is deferring $900M+ worth of hardware revenue in FQ1 to account for the value of bundled software; gross margin would be higher otherwise. New products and a higher iPad mix are also expected to pressure FQ1 gross margin.

$35.5B of Apple's $146.8B cash/investment balance is in the U.S. The U.S. balance is down $5B Q/Q.

Cook says he sees major opportunities in new product categories next year (is he hinting only at an iWatch, or other products as well?).

Apple pares its losses, shares now only -0.5% AH.

CC live blogs: I, II. More on Apple's FQ4.