Activist investor Carl Icahn has finally dropped his push for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to buy billions of dollars’ worth of shares as soon as possible. He tweeted about it today and published a letter to shareholders on his website, Shareholders’ Square Table.
ISS backs Apple
The first thing Carl Icahn mentions in his letter is last night’s decision from the influential shareholder advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS). The firm sided with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) instead of Icahn, so he basically doesn’t see any reason to continue with his push. After all, shareholders often vote with ISS, so the odds that he could win here have shrunk tremendously.
David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital returned -2.9% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to 8.5% for the S&P 500. According to a copy of the fund's letter, which ValueWalk has reviewed, longs contributed 5.2% in the quarter while short positions detracted 4.6%. Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Macro positions detracted 3.3% from Read More
Icahn does say that he doesn’t entirely disagree with ISS, however.
Where Icahn agrees
He said he agrees with firm’s view that the only place where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been sluggish is in the area of returning is extra cash to shareholders. In addition, the company has one of the biggest share repurchase plans in history and even that effort seems like a hopeless cause because of how much extra cash Apple has on hand.
In two weeks alone, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) bought back $14 billion worth of its shares, which means that for the current fiscal year, the company seems to be on track to buy back $32 billion or more in shares. Icahn and ISS both note that his proposal for a $50 billion share buyback only adds about $18 billion to Apple’s potential plans for the year.
Icahn’s “excited” about Apple’s future
The activist investor also refers back again to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook’s comments that they will definitely enter new product categories this year. He said because of this, he remains “extremely excited” about the company’s future. He also hopes that Apple will continue its “opportunistic” and aggressive” approach to buying back shares this year.
So does this mean he’s done with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for the time being? It certainly sounds like it, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s over.