Carl Icahn revealed today that his firm has dumped all of its stake in Apple Inc. (AAPL). After having stabilized earlier today following Wednesday’s steep decline, the iPhone maker’s stock started diving again following Icahn’s comments. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares are down 2.39% at $95.48 as of this writing.
Icahn dumps Apple (AAPL), but not because of earnings
The activist investor owned nearly 1% of Apple’s outstanding shares before selling all of them. The company’s stock has seen a massive rout in the wake of Tuesday’s disappointing earnings report, but Icahn said he didn’t exit Apple because of that report. He told CNBC‘s Power Lunch that his concerns about the China’s “attitude” toward Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are increasing and that he’s worried that the Chinese government will make it extremely difficult for the company to make any sales in the country and that “you can do pretty much what you want there.
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Carl Icahn said he earned about $2 billion on his investment and added that if China’s attitude toward Apple “was basically steadied,” he would take up a position again. He built his stake in the company about a year ago when he began pushing for more share repurchases
There’s no denying that China was a problem in the March quarter as the iPhone maker said sales in Greater China tumbled 26% year over year. In previous quarters, the region had shown significant growth for the company, and despite the problems in the first three months of the year, CEO Tim Cook said they still “feel good about China.” In this week’s earnings report, management cited China’s economic slowdown and saturation at the high end of the smartphone market as the reasons for falling sales in Greater China.
Has Apple (AAPL) lost its mojo?
Icahn still called the iPhone maker “a great company,” however, and said that CEO Tim Cook is “doing a great job.” Some would beg to differ, at least on that last point. Speculations that the company has lost its ability to innovate have resurfaced this week.
“The disappointing earnings got a lot of traders asking themselves if Apple lost its magic,” Jesse Cohen, senior editor at Investing.com, told ValueWalk in an email. “With iPhone sales slowing, the tech giant needs to find a new engine for growth and its smartwatch isn’t cutting it so far. What’s most worrisome is the fact that Apple hasn’t delivered any real groundbreaking products since Tim Cook took over. The notion that the pace of innovation at Apple has slowed down completely since the death of Steve Jobs is finally setting in as reality and that should worry investors.”
Investing.com shared this hilarious comic with ValueWalk in which CEO Tim Cook is shown curled up in the fetal position as deceased cofounder Steve Jobs looks down at him: