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Apple CEO's performance-based stock shrinks

The company also advised shareholders to vote down a resolution by activist investor Carl Icahn.

The company also advised shareholders to vote down a resolution by activist investor Carl Icahn.  Picture: Spencer Platt/AFP

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook earned roughly the same in 2013 as in 2012, but lost part of his performance-based stock award during a year in which intense competition and margin pressure bludgeoned the iPhone maker's stock.

Cook took home $4.25 million, including a base salary of $1.4 million and a performance bonus of $2.8 million, roughly on par with 2012, the company said in a preliminary proxy statement on Friday.

But he gave up about 7,100 shares tied to an annual performance-dependent award, based on shareholder returns from 24 August 2012 to 25 August, 2013. Apple's stock lost a quarter of its value over that one-year period.

The company also advised shareholders to vote down a resolution by activist investor Carl Icahn, who proposed the iPhone maker buy back $50 billion worth of shares in fiscal 2014. It was the first time the company had publicly voiced its response to Icahn's demands.

Apple argued on Friday it has already returned $43 billion in dividends and share repurchases over the first six months of its roughly $100 billion capital return program.

The "dynamic competitive landscape and the company's rapid pace of innovation require unprecedented investment, flexibility and access to resources," Apple said in advising shareholders to reject Icahn's proposal.

Known for decades of strong-arm tactics, including proxy fights, Icahn has repeatedly made it clear that his proposal is not a sign that he stands against Apple's management. The billionaire has discussed the issue with Cook in past months, arguing via tweets that a buyback of as much as $150 billion is within the company's means and would prop up its stock.