Carl Icahn spells the end of an era at Apple; this is the end for the Apple that you knew and loved

“This afternoon came news via a simple 140 space statement that Carl Icahn currently had ‘a large position’ in Apple (AAPL),” George Acs writes for Seeking Alpha. “By all accounts his discussion with CEO Tim Cook were cordial. Icahn himself, in another 140 space blast referred to it as ‘nice,’ and he anticipated speaking to Cook again shortly.”

“Despite his recent foray into Dell Computer, his history as an activist shareholder has not included many companies in the technology arena,” Acs writes. “Icahn refers to Apple as being ‘undervalued’ but he isn’t looking at a low P/E to buttress his opinion. He is looking at a continuing large cash position that he envisions as a means of expanding the already large share buyback, that to many has already been the source of Apple strength going from its near term lows to $450.”

“This is not a case of finding fault with leadership, this is not a case of someone seeking to prevent shareholders from being robbed blind in an insider buyout deal. Apple is very different from Dell in so many ways,” Acs writes. “This is all about leveraging cash, without regard to product pipeline and without regard to product margins. This isn’t about cutting expenses or changing direction. It is as pure as you can get – it is about cash.”

Acs writes, “Icahn cares nothing about this company other than for the cash it holds… While not terribly different from David Einhorn’s earlier attempt to wiggle cash out of the Apple coffers, Icahn is relentless and scrappy. What starts as perhaps a nice discussion can quickly go elsewhere. While there is a quick pop in Apple shares in the aftermath of the announcement and while I anticipate shares to move even higher, this is the end for the Apple that you knew and loved. It wasn’t the death of Steve Jobs, but rather the indirect impact of his absence that spells the end, as Apple becomes like so many other companies simply nothing more than a vessel for someone that will have as limited interest as a pedestrian day trader.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Overwrought hyperbole bordering on hysterics, but Icahn definitely must be treated with the respect afforded a king cobra.

Good luck, snake-handler Tim!

35 Comments

    1. The scrapbook is bulging with these hyperbolic headlines. Advertising is driving the juciest memes hard, which changes mass perception, which alters real events. Advertising has virtually taken over journalism’s gatekeeper function. Talk about the tail wagging the dog!

        1. Yes—I get some of my best ideas out of that scrapbook, which I’ve titled “1001 Slights”—fancying myself a latter-day tech Scheherazade, but no mercy appears to be forthcoming! On with the stories!

        2. Mighty Mouth: what a perfect handle for you. Hannah is a rare gem, and the most talented writer in this entire forum. I am delighted with each and every one of her enviable missives. Yours….not so much.

  1. Twat was that? A few tweets and look at all the twits move. NOt a bad move in the right direction but who, talk about volatile.

    Oh wait it’s Apple, happens all the time.

    I’ll go back to relaxing.

  2. MDN I disagree about this being ” Overwrought hyperbole bordering on hysterics..”. Icahn is a parasite and if he succeeds at all, it will be the ruin of Apple. The day it was decided that Apple would pay a dividend and do a buy-back, was the signal that the end was near. Now this jerk Icahn comes into the picture. There is absolutely no redeeming value to this person and his tactics. Except for building his own wealth, he destroys things, pure and simple. What a sad time and what a sad little man.

    1. “The day it was decided that Apple would pay a dividend and do a buy-back, was the signal that the end was near.”

      Are you kidding?? Do you realize how much cash AAPL was accumulating when those moves were announced, and continues to accumulate in spite of those moves? Something had to be done with it, and I believe both moves were wisely executed. As of today’s close, AAPL’s market cap is 444 billion. If the wildest rumors are to be believed, Ichan has a 1 billion stake (roughly the same amount that David Einhorn has). Let’s not get too carried away and assign him too much influence…

      1. It’s not us little people on MDN assigning him too much influence, it’s “the market” itself.

        Think about it: two tweets from this guy and AAPL goes vertical. Fortunately UP. This time. Another tweet in the future, indicating he’s getting rid of his (rumoured) $1B stake (over 2 million shares), and it will very likely go vertical… downwards.

        1. @mossman

          Right, and a bunch of bogus articles about AAPL not being innovative, being steamrollered by Android, blah, blah, and it goes vertical in the other direction despite the company’s excellent products and sparkling balance sheet. The point is to ignore the noise, focus on the long term, and you’ll be rewarded.

      2. I completely agree. A $1 billion stake is significant, but for a company the size, market cap and number of shares outstanding as Apple, even Icahn cannot tip the balance even if he threatened a proxy battle. And I am sure he knows that. Icahn might be a (insert insult here), but he’s a smart SOB.

        Second, Icahn is not always hostile. He often makes investments in companies that are benevolent, and simply cashes in on smart moves. This is something that was completely lost of the 9-year-old blogger who wrote this pathetic screed on Seeking Alpha.

        Third: consider the source: SEEKING ALPHA. It is a site that is a collection of amateur blogs, not scholarly articles written by investment experts. While some content on Seeking Alpha is worth reading, much of the crap this is well, crap, written by clueless amateurs (or daytrading small-time, short-selling wannabes), often written in their upstairs bedroom at their parents’ house (while being called down to dinner).

        Instead of raising your blood pressure, go outside and ignore idiotic screeds like the one referenced at the top of this page. It’s idiotic hyperbole, and in the words of J. Frank Parnell (bonus points if you know who he is), it’s little more than “Pernicious nonsense.”

        Kudos to CraigNotGreg for nailing it with his comments.

        1. Splendid that some of you are speaking up at this point, as that goes a long way in quieting the nervous nellies that tend to amplify waves of panic that are so easily generated and so swiftly propagate thru the blogosphere, washing up on the shores of mainstream media to even more deleterious effect.

          1. I seldom pay attention to the amateur analysts on Seeking Alpha. This particular analyst is no different. Carl Icahn is not the end of Apple. Apple is too big. But I agree with the writers opinion of Carl Icahn. Carl is ruthless. I knew a number of people who worked for TWA back in the day including some pilots. It was very ugly. AAPL investors including myself benefited greatly today. But in the long run I believe Carl is a bad apple in the barrel. He’s big enough and rotten enough to damage the entire barrel of Apples. Steve Jobs wouldn’t have taken his call. That’s not a bad reflection on Tim Cook it’s just reality. Apple makes the best stuff and they can stand on their products and don’t need Carl Icahns’ involvement to survive. He is a distraction. At a time when attention in Apple should be on it’s known and unknown coming products the attention will be on Carl Icahn. That’s not what Apple needs. And it’s no coincidence that Carl Icahns’ tweet came just as AAPL was reaching its 200 day moving average. Carl is obviously trying to pump up the share price after he bought a huge block of stock. Nothing wrong with that, he’s just trying to make money. But Carl is ruthless. So be careful. Realize that it’s some point he may do the same thing to drive down the share price so he can short it. I agree with the writer when he says that Carl does not have the best interest of Apple the company in mind. If you own, work for or invest in a company, Carl Icahn is the last thing you want to see coming through the door. Today’s run up in the stock was nice but Apple doesn’t need his involvement to succeed. New products and services can increase the value of the company and the stock price. He is the reason that Steve Jobs detested Wall Street.

  3. Even this George guy talks only about apple as an investment – and reads WAY! WAY! WAY! too much into a few tweets. LAME!

    Apple will be the same GREAT apple for the foreseeable future and these money dorks that really never see apple for it’s real strengths will continue to flounder. step back and take a real good look at why apple is what it is before you write another Pile O Crap!

  4. The MDN take is dead on. Complete hyperbole. Ichan having a 0.2% stake in a company as successful and prestigious as Apple doesn’t warrant predictions of doom like “this is the end for the Apple that you knew and loved”.

  5. Another doom sayer and total jerk off with no facts about anything. There’s a lot more to Apple than what this turd writes up on the internet. Dell himself was a doom sayer of Apple and look where he ended up. Begging to buy back the company he started himself. Tim Cook has been around to long and knows everything Steve Jobs knows. Just because Steve Jobs isn’t here doesn’t automatically turn Apple into what this turd writes up because he’s wrong in so many ways.

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