Apple, which is renowned for its close-mouthed ways, may be forced to open up as it is currently overmatched in the dust-up with media savvy investor Carl Icahn, the pride of Far Rockaways, Queens.
We currently have a large position in APPLE. We believe the company to be extremely undervalued. Spoke to Tim Cook today. More to come.— Carl Icahn (@Carl_C_Icahn) August 13, 2013
The 77-year-old investor, who over the years has recast himself from ruthless corporate raider (e.g., Icahn’s 1985 successful hostile takeover of TWA led to its eventual demise) to fighter for shareholder value, announced today that Icahn Enterprises, has taken a "large position" in the iPhone, iPad, iTunes and MacBook company. That disclosure sent Apple shares up five percent to $493.
Icahn, via Twitter, said his "had a nice conversation with Tim Cook [Apple CEO] today. Discussed my opinion that a larger buyback should be done now. We plan to speak again shortly."
Later, Cook tweeted that he believes Apple is "extremely undervalued." There's no word from Cook and the gang.
Cook has been more sensitive to press and activist groups than his iconic predecessor Steve Jobs. For instance, he made a high-profile tour of Apple subcontractors in China and promised to use its clout to improve working conditions there. Jobs couldn't have cared less about production workers.
Apple was once a cult stock. Its rise to market dominance broadened that shareholder owner base. Many of those owners feel ignored by management. They want Apple to distribute via a buyback a good chunk of its $42.5B cash/securities trove. That buyback would spark a run-up of Apple’s stock, which is trading far below its $705.07 52-week high.
Icahn promises via Twitter to keep the public up-to-date on developments at Apple.
Apple now must allocate some of its cash to enlist some pricey financial/crisis experts to keep Carl in check. If Tim comes to terms with Carl maybe he’ll come to appreciate the power of PR?