Carl Icahn: Cautious On Equities, Still Working With Apple Inc. (AAPL)


Activist investor Carl Icahn apparently still has a plan in the works for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and it sounds like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be one of the few companies he isn’t so worried about. Speaking at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit, he said he’s “very cautious” on equities right now because many companies’ earnings aren’t as good as they appear on the surface.

Icahn’s big plan for Apple

Icahn has been pushing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for quite some time to buy back $150 billion of its shares as soon as possible. He said at the summit today that he doesn’t want to fight with management at Apple, although he doesn’t plan to walk away from the investment he has made in the company.

The activist investor has been meeting with CEO Tim Cook and other executives at the company in his push for the massive share buyback. He suggested recently that he was making progress in convincing them to do things his way. There were reports that the dinner he had with Cook got a little heated, so it’s interesting that he said today that he doesn’t want to fight with Apple management. In addition, he has hinted recently that he would be up for a proxy battle over the issue if it seemed like other shareholders were on his side.

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As you can see, his remarks today at the Reuters summit certainly don’t seem to match up with his past remarks, but we’ll have to see what happens. He can get pretty aggressive when he doesn’t get what he wants.

Icahn on company earnings

Also at the summit today, Carl Icahn spoke on the stock market as a whole, saying that he was “very cautious on equities” and that the “market could easily have a big drop.” He also called many companies’ earnings “a mirage,” saying that earnings are being bolstered by low borrowing costs instead of strong management. He’s been pushing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to take advantage of those low borrowing costs for its share buyback.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up with a small gain and posted its 39th record close this year, according to MarketWatch. The NASDAQ Composite index fell .9%. Both indexes were doing better before Icahn spoke, with the Dow Jones hitting an intra-day high of more than 16,000. Some have blamed Icahn’s bearish comments for the decline, although others have argued that the decline had less to do with what Icahn said and more about the fact that the indexes were climbing toward new highs.


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