Apple, the world's most valuable company, is scheduled to convene its annual shareholder meeting Thursday at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
As at most U.S. companies that have performed well, there are no challenges to nominees for the board of directors nor controversial proposals for the shareholders to consider.
So Chairman Art Levinson, 61, who succeeded the late Steve Jobs, 56, who became Apple's first chairman when he resigned as CEO last August, will have easy sailing. Levinson, CEO of Genentech, will introduce new CEO Tim Cook, 51, as well as the board of directors, whose only new member is Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger, 61.
The best-known member of the board is former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, 63. The Democrat is also a Nobel Peace Prize winner as well as Oscar winner.
Here are three things to watch:
What will management say about alleged slave labor practices at Foxconn? Management last week tried to pre-empt this by announcing a probe into conditions at its principal contractor, Hon Hai Precision Industries, the official name of Foxconn, which employs as many as 700,000 workers in China.
Hon Hai shares have fallen 4 percent in the past week.
The Fair Labor Association, a private-sector sponsored group, was charged with conducting a survey of Foxconn, whose sites experienced a spate of worker suicides, accidents and problems. Workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, Cook said.
Still, the group has been criticized for being too close to management. While 71 percent of Apple shares is owned by large institutions, a labor union, religious order or pension owner such as College Retirement Equities Fund might demand more.
What about the cash pile? Apple holds cash and investments of nearly $98 billion. Cook has been asked repeatedly what it will do with it: Buy other companies, perhaps pay a special dividend to shareholders or some other option.
Cook, who was the faithful No. 2 to Jobs, has dodged the question in various public statements. CFO Peter Oppenheimer dodged it when Apple reported record first-quarter results Jan. 24.
When Microsoft sat on a similar pile, it declared a special dividend in 2004 that was $3 a share, which took care of $32 billion. Then Microsoft doubled its annual dividend to 32 cents and bought back $30 billion worth of shares through 2008.
Besides something similar, Cook could announce its diversion into some kind of venture capital fund, much like Intel has had for years and Dell has just restarted.
If Apple makes any such announcement, it will have to come as management announces it at the annual meeting under fair-disclosure regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Product announcements about iPhone5, iPad3, Apple TV? If tradition holds, Cook and any senior VPs on hand who will be asked about future products will speak in only general terms, although shareholders may press.
More likely, senior managers will dodge specific questions to say Apple will introduce new products when ready and at the right venue. Next week, Apple is not scheduled to participate officially at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where its rivals in the sector will furnish keynote speakers, as will iPhone suppliers Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint Nextel.
Apple could steal the show by announcing a new iPhone there. Similar trade shows in late spring or summer could see Apple announcements of a new iPad or of much-anticipated Apple TV.
Apple shares were at $509.70 in late Tuesday trading, only $14 below their all-time record of $526.29 set last week. The company's market capitalization is $475.2 billion.