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Jim Cramer is hearing a symphony of criticism now that
Although the deal had been rumored for weeks, upon the formal announcement, Cramer found that skeptics surfaced from every corner of the market. Many complained that Tim Cook was effectively marching to his own beat (pun intended), rather than listening to shareholders.
Cramer, however, thinks nothing could be further from the truth. "I think Cook has been listening. In fact, I think he's an amazing listener."
First Cramer cited concerns about iPhone sales raised by the Street after the death of Steve Jobs. "Don't look now but the iPhone 5S has been a tremendous hit due to software innovation, " Cramer said. That was Cook.
"Also critics were quick to say Cook didn't do enough in China," Cramer added. Yet, in January, Cook inked a deal to sell iPhones on China Mobile's vast network, something he called a "watershed moment."
Even when billionaire investor Carl Icahn made a very public charge that Cook wasn't returning enough capital to shareholders, Cramer said Cook wasn't turned off by the chest thumping. He listened.
When Apple reported earnings in April, it approved another $30 billion in share buybacks through the end of 2015, and it also approved a roughly 8 percent increase in its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share.
"When we heard rumblings that Apple retail stores had lost their mojo, Cook hired arguably one of best retail executives in the world, Angela Ahrendts, who turned around Burberry, " Cramer added.
And now, by acquiring Beats, Cramer believes Cook is again listening. "The big black hole on the conference call has always been the decline in iTunes. That's a music technology issue. So what does Cook do? He goes out and hires the best in the business, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, by acquiring Beats, the company that they co-founded."
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All told, Cramer thinks investors who are criticizing Cook for not listening have it all wrong.
"And in the process he's driven shares from $400 to $634 in a year's time. In my world that says he's a good listener."
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