In his conference call urging Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders to push for the issuance of perpetual preferred stock, David Einhorn took a jab at Dell Inc. (DELL)’s plan to go private. He called the company’s capital allocation strategy “unfriendly to shareholders” but came up just short of predicting that Apple will follow Dell if it doesn’t wise up in its capital strategies.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)’s plan to go private under founder Michael Dell doesn’t sound like such a great idea to David Einhorn. When the hedge fund manager outlined his reasons for pushing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to offer perpetual preferred stock rather than take other routes to increase value for shareholders, he took some shots at Dell.
ValueWalk blogged Einhorn’s conference live, and one of the examples he used was Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)’s leverage buyout plan, which he said makes the company unfriendly to shareholders. In essence, he used the plan as an example of how not to treat shareholders and how not to hoard cash.
Michael Dell made a deal to take Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), the company he founded more than 20 years ago, private. The deal partners him with the private equity firm Silver Lake and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). However, Business Insider reports that some of the company’s shareholders aren’t too thrilled about the deal because they believe it undervalues the company substantially.
According to Einhorn, the company’s plan to go private highlights how bad it is for any company to hoard cash. He said his Greenlight Capital firm had a large stake in Dell last year, but it sold the shares because he didn’t like the way the company allocated its capital.
Much of Dell’s cash was foreign, and the company apparently told Einhorn that it couldn’t be repatriated. It also told him that it needed its domestic cash for strategic acquisitions and operational costs. He said Dell’s shares fell because shareholders became frustrated with how the company was handling its cash.
And that, according to Einhorn, is the future of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) if it doesn’t find a way to handle its cash in a more shareholder-friendly way.