Activist investor, Carl Icahn encouraged Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to execute a $150 billion shares buyback when the two executives met on Monday night.
Icahn emphasized that Apple will miss a great opportunity
During an interview with CNBC’s Fast Money, Icahn emphasized that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will miss a great opportunity if the board of directors of the company decides not to implement a bigger shares buyback.
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According to Icahn, the CFO of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was also present during his meeting with Cook, and indicated that the board of the tech giant intends to issue a $16 billion shares buyback. Icahn reacted, “So what, the board is not God. In this kind of case, the board should be listening to what the shareholders want.”
Icahn expressed his opinion to Cook
Icahn expressed his opinion to Cook that the board of directors of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should have not the last word on the size of the shares buyback. During the interview with CNBC, the activist investor pointed out that he will ensure that shareholders are well represented, even if the board of the tech giant does not approve a bigger shares repurchase program.
“I feel very strongly about this. I can’t promise you the stock will go up and I can’t promise you they will do the buyback, but I can promise you that I’m not going away until they hear a lot more from me concerning this,” stressed Icahn.
The activist investor added, “It’s a no brainer and it makes no sense for this company with their multiple being so low not to do a major buyback, and here’s another reason that I mention, that I think might go forgotten, the fact that you can borrow money so cheaply today. I don’t think we are going to see this again. They have a golden opportunity to go borrow money.”
Prior to the interview, Icahn tweeted that he “had a cordial dinner” with Cook on Monday night, and he “pushed hard for a $150 million buy back.” According to his tweet, they “decided to continue dialogue in about three weeks” regarding the issue.
The shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are trading around $488 a share, up by more than 2 percent in mid afternoon in New York. Currently, the tech giant has approximately 900 million outstanding shares, and if the board approves Icahn’s proposal, the stock price of the company will increase significantly because the number of its outstanding shares will be reduced by more than one third.
In April, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced that its decision to return $100 billion capital to shareholders through shares buyback and dividend by the end of 2015. The tech giant increased its shares buyback from $10 billion to $60 billion. As of June, the company already repurchased $16 billion worth of its own stock.