When Apple's Tim Cook didn't like stock splits

April 23, 2014: 4:52 PM ET

Apple is doing something Tim Cook once said "does nothing."


FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL)  just announced that it will do a 7-1 stock split, alongside an increased dividend (to 8%) and an increased stock buyback (from $60 billion to $90 billion).

Who could object to such a thing? Well, except for a past incarnation of Apple CEO Tim Cook.

During a shareholder meeting in February 2012, Cook was asked about why Apple wasn't doing a stock split. His reply was that, in most cases, "a stock split does nothing" beyond create a short-term share price bump.

Then again, Apple of early 2012 was only two years removed from the introduction of the iPad, and expectations were that another major category creation was just around the corner. Since them, however, the company has done little more than create new versions of existing products. In the meantime, Google (GOOG) has been working on self-driving cars and web-enabled glasses, while Facebook (FB) is working to make virtual reality the next desktop.

Perhaps what's really changed more over the past two years has been the nature of Apple, rather than the nature of stock splits...

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