Carl Icahn, the famed activist investor who recently tuned his attention to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), has released a letter to the company on a new website. Share Holder’s Square Table, the website that Icahn appears to be operating out of, at least for the time being, went live this morning and contained some advice for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook.
Icahn’s letter to the Chief Executive of the world’s largest company asks him to announce a $150 billion buyback of the firm’s stock at the current trading price. Carl Icahn has been talking about a buyback, funded by debt, at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) For months, but he’s been playing very nice up until now. It seems that the activist is going to throw his full weight at this battle from now on.
Apple management and Icahn
Activist investors are supposed to identify companies that are badly managed and use their economic force to change the situation, thereby increasing shareholder value. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is by no means badly managed. Tim Cook has done a great job at the head of the company, and his leadership is not being questioned by Icahn or anyone else.
Icahn is, however, disappointed by the loss in shareholder value at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the last year. The letter from Carl Icahn is clear on this point. He wants Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to buy back stock in order to increase shareholder value. He wants the company to finance the transaction with debt so that the company can take advantage of the current lows in interest rates.
Icahn activism at Apple
Icahn appears to be taking the campaign at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) more seriously than it seemed in the past. His demeanor before was one of a friend offering kindly advice to the smart phone maker. Now he’s running a campaign to see the way Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) runs changed.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook hasn’t commented all that much about the Icahn campaign, but he may be forced to if it becomes a big issue for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders. Carl Icahn is a dangerous man, even in dealing with the world’s most valuable company. Carl Icahn revealed that he upped his stake in the company to around 4.7 million shares from 4 million. The company has an outstanding 908 million shares.