Apple Issues Surprise Grants to Engineers to Shun Poaching

iPhone manufacturer Apple Inc. (AAPL) has handed out stock grants to selected engineers to deflect poaching attempts by rival Meta Platforms Inc. (FB), according to Bloomberg. Shares of AAPL closed at $179.38 and FB closed at $342.94 on December 29.

Stock Grants to Ward-Off Poaching

Both Apple and Meta Platforms, as well as several other emerging tech companies are hiring the best talent on board on a war footing, with an aim to continuously innovate and launch new products and services.

Recently, Meta Platforms had poached around 100 engineers from Apple’s software and hardware engineering divisions. In retaliation, even Apple lured a few key FB employees.

To ward off the increased poaching efforts from rivals, last week Apple issued stock grants ranging from $50,000 to $180,000 to select engineers from its hardware, silicon design, software, and operations groups. The grants given to around 10%-20% of employees are one of a kind and out of the box.

The grants come with a pay-out period of four years, which implies that the engineers will remain loyal to the company over the time frame. These grants were issued as perks for outstanding performance by the employees and are different from the normal packages, which include a base salary, cash bonuses, and stock units.

However, the company’s step has not gone well with a few engineers who did not receive such grants. The value of grants will rise in tandem with Apple’s stock price and are equivalent to many engineering managers’ annual stock grants.

Analysts’ Take

Overall, the stock commands a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 21 Buys, 4 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Apple stock price target of $175.28 implies a 2.3% downside potential to current levels.

Smart Score

According to TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, Apple Stock Analysis shows that AAPL scores a 9 out of 10 which indicates that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.

AAPL smart score of 9

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