At a recent event, Apple’s CEO took a similar approach to the use of cash as Icahn has been proposing for years
Apple CEO Tim Cook sounded more like activist Carl Icahn when he said that the company could announce yet another program to return more cash to investors, says Jessica Guynn of USA TODAY. Icahn has lobbied for a long time on this issue, and now Cook hinted toward the same during an event in San Francisco, which surely comes as music to the ears of investors.
Was it Icahn or Cook talking?
Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn asked Cook about the dividend and stock buyback program, to which Cook replied that the company will announce in April “what we intend to do next.”
Cohn fielded the question to Cook during an onstage conversation at the investment bank’s annual Technology and Internet Conference. The Apple CEO also said the company is already in the process of its existing buyback and dividend program.
Cook sounded more like Icahn, when he said, “My view is, for cash we don’t need … we do want to give it back.”
Of the earlier program announced last April, Cook said, “We’re $103 billion through that” and will return a total of $130 billion to shareholders via stock buybacks and quarterly dividends.
Icahn applauds Apple CEO’s efforts
In a recent letter, Carl Icahn applauded Cook’s stance on the use of cash. The activist investor has spent the past year convincing Cook and board members to share more money with shareholders. Icahn wrote letters and held meetings with Cook to sway him.
On Tuesday, Apple ended the trading day with a market value of over $700 billion, which is an all-time high and the first to be achieved by any company. Icahn, in a letter, predicted that Apple will close in on $1 trillion, suggesting that the company is worth $216 per share. The activist billionaire has taken a highly bullish stance on Apple and has accumulated 53 million shares worth $6.5 billion. Icahn also said he has not sold a single share.
Apple earned a massive amount of cash–$33.7 billion–from operations in the last three months of 2014 and is now sitting on around $180 billion in cash and securities.