“Apple Inc (AAPL) has gone from stock market darling to market dog in the course of a year’s time,” Alexander J. Poulos writes for Seeking Alpha. “Has the market overreacted, giving patient long term investors an attractive entry point or is this the beginning of a slow decline into irrelevancy?”

“I believe the former is indeed the case,” Poulos writes. “Carl Icahn recently disclosed a new stake in the company sending the shares up over 4%. Icahn has a well deserved reputation as a corporate agitator. It is my belief that he will push for a more aggressive buyback policy further enhancing shareholder value. AAPL has aggressively repurchased shares since its April commitment to do so. I expect Icahn to push for more rapid change, especially with shares trading at less than market multiple. According to Morningstar, AAPL has ample room to take on debt, especially long term debt. I expect Icahn to aggressively push for more debt to be added to fuel an even more aggressive share buyback. I wouldn’t be surprised if he forces them to double it to $100 billion, which is unprecedented in history.”

Poulos writes, “With a host of new products slated for the next couple of quarters sales momentum should reignite. AAPL, with its wide moat and prodigious cash flow generating ability should trade for at least a market multiple. In summary, AAPL at its current level offers an attractive entry point into a high quality technology leader. A patient investor will be paid above market rate yields to wait for the inevitable bump in sales. The small investor now has a champion agitator with a proven record of results pushing for a higher share price. Management won’t be allowed to dither and will have to perform.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This isn’t Dell, thank Jobs.

Apple has a market cap of $445 billion. Icahn reportedly has just over $1 billion in AAPL. His “large” stake is actually around 0.22% of Apple; not 20%, not even 2%. He’d need to quadruple his current “large” stake just to get to 1%.

Icahn’s stake is “large” to him, not to Apple. To Apple, it’s a drop in the ocean.

So, while he can squawk on Twitter and other media, less than a quarter of one percent doesn’t buy him a lot of financial leverage to “force” Apple to do anything beyond a yawn. At 0.22%, he’s lucky Tim even bothered to pick up the phone.

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Carl Icahn reveals large Apple position, reportedly over $1 billion; wants to see Apple increase stock buybacks – August 13, 2013
Apple stock goes vertical: The Carl Icahn effect – August 13, 2013