Apple urges shareholders vote against Icahn buyback proposal

In its proxy filing for its February 28th annual meeting, Apple urges shareholders vote against Carl Icahn’s Proposal 10, a “non-binding advisory resolution” calling for Apple to spend at least an additional $50 billion on buybacks in FY14 (ends September 2014).

The Board recommends that you vote your shares: “AGAINST” the shareholder proposal by Carl Icahn of a non-binding advisory resolution that the Company commit to completing not less than $50 billion of share repurchases during its 2014 fiscal year (and increase the authorization under its capital return program accordingly) (Proposal No. 10).

Apple’s Preliminary Proxy Statement is here.

32 Comments

    1. I hope all of you realize that Icahn is just playing a game to push AAPL higher. Yes folks, it’s positive AAPL manipulation, for those of you who think that manipulation of AAPL is always negative.

      A big stock buyback made sense, back when AAPL was under $400 (and Apple used the practice in a significant way). Now, as it approaches $600, it makes a lot less sense. But the prospect of Apple doing a $50B buyback nudges AAPL higher. AAPL is undervalued, even now, so there’s nothing wrong with that. And THAT helps Icahn, and all AAPL investors, whether the buyback ever happens or not.

      In fact, this is “a non-binding advisory resolution.” So even if it passes, Apple is not obligated to do anything. And Icahn probably does not actually want Apple to do it. He’s just making some noise to push his AAPL share price higher, because Apple “might” do it. He wins either way, and that’s fine with me… 🙂

      1. Yeah Ken, it’s ‘positive’ manipulation.

        But sorry. Rigging money games, up or down, is all bullshit that ends up hurting someone to the benefit of someone else. I prefer reality to con-job game playing. Our current culture in the USA is all about the con-job. (And yes, I’m sooo tempted to go all political on this subject! Note my self-restraint).

        Apple is NOT about con-jobs. Carl can go bite himself.

          1. Especially in the current era. I’d enjoy chatting with an history analyst to get a detailed idea of what’s changing in our culture, that total outrageous bullshit pulls more weight in the public dialog than hard cold facts.

            It reminds me of propeller beanies. The loons wind their propeller’s every day and go flying off into a stratosphere of self-abuse and nonsense while we who live on solid ground wonder what the hell is wrong with these people.

  1. As a longstanding shareholder(1996) I support current Apple management in this. They have returned excellent value to longstanding shareholders and even a pretty decent return to he recent additions to the fold

  2. This Carl ICan’t needs to just go away. He isn’t contributing anything of worth to tech journalism. And, by the way, “Piper Jaffray” sounds like a really stupid name…

  3. I certainly vote NO against Icahn’s proposal but I’d still like to hear what Apple intends to do with that overseas cash hoard. That’s quite a bit of money sitting there barely doing anything and I’m sure at least some of it could be put to better use. I’m only saying this because I don’t know if Apple is using some of it or not, but nobody seems to be saying anything to shareholders about it.

    1. Though I’m sure a lot of people would disagree, I’d like to see Apple buy out Adobe. Adobe CS is an ambitious strong suite of software that fits Apple’s paradigm. Unfortunately for Adobe, they’ve become Jack of all trades, and master of none.

      InDesign is a mess, Photoshop has gotten too busy, and unless you’ve been using Illustrator since 1988 like me, it’s a hard program to master and use.

      It would be nice to see Apple put their touch on these products. Adobe has lost their way.

      1. I didn’t have too much trouble learning Illustrator. But I think it’s embarrassing to Adobe that every time you command tab over to Photoshop you enter a different dimension (and back again when returning).

      2. Adobe’s like Home Depot: Buy up every bit of competition, burn it, and leave only the shit they decide to feed us. They should never have been permitted to buy Freehand. I’d love for Apple to buy Pixelmator and turn it into a bona fife PS killer. Oh yeah, and Icahn’s a douche.

        1. Freehand was SOooo much better than illustrator that Adobe had to buy it and kill it. FH had tight code, Printers LOVED IT, FH files always yielded perfect plates ready to go on the presses. Illustrator files were HUGE (even a single pixel circle 3″ across with no fill was HUMUNGUS like 900k). Make a bunch of circles and the file choked the RIP making the printing plates!!!
          Illustrator files were always the “pig in the python.” yeh, Apple should buy Adobe including the rights to FreeHand, & promise in 2 years to Kick illustrator to the curb, then give FH & FREE FH workshops all across the country and On-Line to every Graphic Designer who wants them…way better use of $ than Icahn’s buy back!!!

      3. “It would be nice to see Apple put their touch on these products.”

        I would have whole-heartedly agreed until recently — when Apple put their new touch on a great program and produced the virtually unusable Pages 5. (It’s interesting to see on the App Store the overwhelming number of one-star ratings with very concrete reasons for the poor opinion.)

      4. Back in ’95, I had to go over to Illustrator from CorelDraw, when the company I worked for bought a bunch of Macs after investing in a Crosfield drum scanner. It practically had me in tears, I found it so unintuitive to use. Even simple things like text on a curve, which was simplicity itself to play with in Corel became an excercise in teeth-grinding frustration, because everything had to be done in dialogue boxes, rather than just dragging a node on the character along the line. I got used to it, but it would never master it.
        I was much more comfortable with Photoshop.

    2. The ‘overseas cash hoard’ is a mixed situation.

      1) Apple is smart to NOT bring it into the USA where it would only be OUTRAGEOUSLY over-taxed. Tim Cook’s appearance in front of the Senate Finance Committee could not have shown that more politely or clearly. And predictably, sane and sensible speech made zero impression on the likes of dickhead Carl Levin.

      2) The money doesn’t just sit there barely doing anything. Even if it’s only in bank accounts, it’s being used in the world for financing loans, ventures, investments, etc.

      3) Apple has plenty of expenses to pay out there in the rest of the world and this is one of its resources.

      Wouldn’t it be GREAT to bring that money into the USA where my country can benefit from it? Damned right! But #MyStupidGovernment is too stupid to allow that to happen.

      😯 🙄 😯

  4. Despite the current buy-back and the dividend Apple has yet to make a dent in its huge pile of cash. Apple never makes large purchases so just why is the cash pile necessary?
    Trying to return 50 billion to share holders doesn’t sound so unreasonable to me but I’m not sure an additional buy-back is the way to go.
    Heck, Apple will probably make (net profit) a large portion of the 50 billion this quarter alone.
    $50 billion divided by 900 million shares is about $55/share… Maybe Apple should just send me a check.

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