Will Carl Icahn pick a fight with Apple?

“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook probably used his deliberate, quiet charm to try to persuade activist investor Carl Icahn to change his mind,” Therese Poletti writes for MarketWatch.When the two met in New York on Monday, as was widely reported, Icahn wanted to get the notion on the table that investors want more returns from Apple and its still-growing cash pile than they are getting. In April, Apple pledged to return $100 billion to investors by the end of 2015, increasing both its dividend and its share repurchase program. It now pays a $3.05 dividend per share.”

“That likely isn’t enough for Icahn,” Poletti writes. “In August, he tweeted, ‘Had a nice conversation with Tim Cook today. Discussed my opinion that a larger buyback should be done now. We plan to speak again shortly.’ That led eventually to Monday’s meeting between Cook and Icahn.”

Poletti writes, ” Cook is likely hoping to keep Icahn at bay without making any distinct promises. But with Apple’s shares still below $500 and well off their $700 peak, it’s unlikely Icahn will be going away soon.”

Read more in the full article here.

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Carl Icahn buys ‘quite a bit more’ Apple shares following unveiling of iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c – September 11, 2013
Carl Icahn’s ulterior motive: To get Apple to buy Nuance – September 3, 2013
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15 Comments

  1. Tim Cook thinks long term, while Carl Icahn thinks short term. Tin Cook knows what Icahn wants and fully understands that it would not be in Apple’s interests. Obviously both would like AAPL to rise in value, but they would differ about how best to achieve that and over what timescale.

    Cook will continue along the path he is steering and while he will make polite noises for the benefit of people like Icahn, he knows that there is nothing to be gained by changing direction.

    If Apple always had always done what Wall Street wanted, Apple wouldn’t be anything like as successful as it is now. Wall Street is not Apple’s friend and Apple doesn’t need to be Wall Street’s friend.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better.

      That’s the thing that bugs me about the “fire Tim Cook” crowd: who would take his place, and how would they handle Wall Street? Tim may not have done a perfect job so far, but I believe he’s done better than anyone else in his position would have.

      1. “Who would take his place?”

        IF (a huge IF bordering on the impossible) Elon Musk could be persuaded to join Apple, much along the lines Steve did back in the days of Gil Amelio, I believe the company would not only thrive but explode upward!

        No?

        1. Musk is one of the founders of PayPal, which is interesting, as Apple will likely be getting into the payments business in the near future. There could be a conflict of interest there.

          Ultimately, Cook will be there when it comes to supply chain and production. I could see Musk in charge of a transportation project in 10 years at Apple, but it would have to be top secret before it’s release.

      2. I never worried much about the fire Tim Cook crowd, it would have happened to anyone who had to replace Steve Jobs. They may be loud for a while but don’t have endurance.

        The longest one that I can recall was Zune Thang and he was flushed down a long time ago, and ppeterson who went on and on and on about Tim Cook ad nauseum is no more.

        There will always be those that attack Apple, fear drives many to that.

    2. “Wall Street is not Apple’s friend and Apple doesn’t need to be Wall Street’s friend.”

      That’s why Steve Jobs never gave in the first place. Remember what Jobs always replied regarding the cash pile?

      “Our cash is not burning a hole in our pocket”

      He once said in a CNBC interview that he never understood Wall Street.

  2. Icahn owns 1 billion of AAPL. He would need to invest around 44 billion to have a 10% stake in Apple before he would need to be listened to; not going to happen

    1. It’s not the size of icahn’s AAPL portfolio that constitutes his clout here. It’s the size of his MOUTH. People listen to him; people follow him. For good or evil, that is the fact of the matter.

  3. Icahn represents all that is wrong with America. Rather than making money by creating something or offering a service that people want, Icahn and his fellow Wall Street scum skim money from the system by using financial shenanigans.

  4. Wall Street does not make good business partners. They make good pests.

    Anyway, I think Apple should keep an iron fist around whatever cash coffer they see necessary for their long term goals, and keep an eye on the “bird in the hand” If they have extra, and can grease wheels or buy stock back, then do so. $100 by 2015, is a heck of a lot of money, you don’t see anyone else giving that kind of cash back.

  5. Foreign companies like Samsung love Carl Icahn!!
    He takes control of the most innovative American companies and then breaks them apart for his own profit. He did it to Motorola and some others before that. Now its Apple’s turn….
    Thanks Carl for your contribution to unemployment and American dream…. he is a s…. head.

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