Shark Tank investor bites into Apple over lack of transparency


Kevin O'Leary
It will take a lot for "Mr. Wonderful" to buy Apple stock again.
Screen shot: CNBC

Entrepreneur and Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary said it “took seconds” to sell off his Apple stock after hearing company executives announce the tech company would no longer disclose units sold.

The self-named “Mr. Wonderful” said he was listening in on Apple’s Q4 earnings call on Nov. 1 and was shocked as CEO Tim Cook described unit sales like a shopping cart. The items in the cart aren’t as important as the total bill of sale, Cook said.

Kevin O’Leary: ‘I’ll decide what’s relevant’

“I don’t own it anymore and I’ll tell you why: transparency,” O’Leary said Monday on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report. “What do you mean you’re not talking about unit sales…If I don’t know how many you’re selling, I don’t know anything about you anymore.”

O’Leary is known for his blunt advice and making hopeful entrepreneurs squirm on the popular television show. He was equally blunt with Apple on Halftime Report, although he fell short of calling the tech giant a “cockroach.” This is a label O’Leary freely applies to entrepreneurs with failed pitches.

“When is less information better for me?” O’Leary added. “Don’t ever tell me on a call.. what I should know and what I shouldn’t. I’ll decide what’s relevant.

“I just don’t understand this lack of transparency and (Apple’s stock prices) are going to get punished more and more.”

O’Leary did not disclose how many shares he owned but he said he got into the stock five years ago after Apple began increasing revenue through services.

While Apple became the first $1 trillion company this past summer, its shares have been falling for the last couple of weeks.

Many of Apple’s smartphone competitors decline to report unit sales and even if revenues are up, flat unit sales make investors anxious. Apple said the average sale price is a more important metric.

Sources: CNBC and Patiently Apple