Since Apple's stock took a precipitous plunge last week, CEO Tim Cook has had to step in and play the role of the optimistic cheerleader.
The Cupertino giant's shares traded in the mid-$400 range on Monday, more than a 30-percent drop from the company's high of $705 per share in September 2012. Following Apple's quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, the company's stock dropped a whopping 12 percent Thursday, its largest single-day loss since 2008.
During the company's turbulent Thursday, Tim Cook held a town hall-style meeting with employees, where he sought to dismiss the company's stock performance as a valid indicator of overall health.
Details of his address leaked online this weekend, with 9to5Mac delivering some choice quotes.
"[Apple] just had the best quarter of any technology company ever," Cook reportedly told the crowd. "The only companies that report better quarters pump oil."
"I do not know about you all," Cook added, "but I do not want to work for those companies."
Cook's statements clearly allude to Exxon, the world's largest investor-owned energy company, which on Friday overtook Apple as the most valuable company in the world, in terms of market cap. Apple had last claimed that title from Exxon in early 2012.
When the market closed on Jan. 28, the two companies appeared to have returned to leapfrogging each other for the title, with Apple's market cap at $422 billion and Exxon's at $415 billion, per Google Finance.
What's to blame for this sell off, and where does Apple need to head now? "Apple's modus operandi to date has been to cream the high-end off each market," explained Evercore Partners analysts to Reuters. "But as the company's grown it may now need to target more of the mainstream."
Other analysts told Reuters Apple would benefit from launching new products instead of relying too heavily on incremental updates to its existing line. Said Stuart Jeffrey of Nomura Holdings, "To re-accelerate growth, Apple likely needs to launch new products, yet few seem likely before June."
Business Insider points out that concern for Apple's growth arrived -- oddly -- as the company posted its largest quarterly revenue ever, a record $54.5 billion.
According to 9to5Mac, Cook also talked shop during the town hall meeting, telling employees that they could expect some new perks. He went on to address concerns about transparency in the company's global supply chain, downplayed the competition of rival mobile platforms like Android and hyped the opportunity for increased sales in China.