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Carl Icahn says he'd 'never' push Apple to buy Nuance, only wants increased share buyback

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Though billionaire Carl Icahn owns considerable stakes in both Apple and Nuance Communications, the investor revealed this week he has no plans to push for a marriage between the two companies, despite their existing partnerships.

Icahn


Icahn spoke this week at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit, where he was asked about the prospect of spurring a deal between the two parties. Such speculation has existed among investors for months, given Icahn's reputation as an activist investor and his 16.4 percent stake in Nuance --?a company whose technology is a key component behind Apple's voice-driven personal assistant, Siri.

"That is something I would never micromanage and never even think of telling (Apple Chief Executive) Tim Cook," Icahn said, according to Reuters. "It has zero to do with the fact that I'm involved in Apple."

He then went on to say that he feels he has neither "the expertise or the presumption to say I have the expertise to tell him to do that," giving a rather definitive stance on the issue.

The investor has a history of causing trouble with tech companies, most famously opposing Michael Dell's efforts to take PC maker Dell private. He also won three seats on the Yahoo Board of Directors, and is credited with helping to oust the CEO of Motorola, essentially forcing the company into the arms of Google.

siri


But his interest in Apple has been in encouraging its executive team to spend $150 billion in share buybacks. Apple already has a buyback program in place, but Icahn believes the company's shares are extremely undervalued, and that an increased buyback would return more to investors such as himself.

Icahn revealed in October that he had at the time 4.7 million shares of AAPL stock, up from a previous total of 4 million. That would give him nearly $2.5 billion stake in the company at its current value.

The investor has gone as far as to suggest that he will consider pushing for a shareholder proxy vote, if Apple's executive team rejects his proposal and investors in the company show enough interest. He's said he believes Cook is doing a good job as CEO and shouldn't be replaced, but he wouldn't say the same for the rest of the company's board of directors.
post #2 of 38
Stock manipulator extraordinaire. "Why, I can smile … and murder while I smile." Richard III.
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post #3 of 38

Its time for him God. Call him. Cant tolerate his nonsense.

post #4 of 38
Buying Nuance is one of the things that I wish Apple had done. If they had, then both Google and Microsoft would have been locked out of the live query business. As it is, both use Nuance, as Apple does.

But then, there have been a number of companies Apple had a chance to buy but didn't. Google was for sale for $5 billion. Apple had a chance to buy them. Apple could have bought Navigon before Nokia did back in 2005. Apple knew they needed maps back then. Think of how things could have been different.
post #5 of 38

Is it possible to manipulate stocks by saying you won't do something?

 

I believe it is... 

 

Um, actually I'm curious how that would work in this case. I just wanted to sound smart like everyone that posts on the inter web.

post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Gregory View Post

Is it possible to manipulate stocks by saying you won't do something?

I believe it is... 

Um, actually I'm curious how that would work in this case. I just wanted to sound smart like everyone that posts on the inter web.

Everything a major investor says can have an effect on stocks. And that extends beyond the companies they're invested in. It's not possible that their statements won't have an effect.

With his worth being on the order of north of $22 billion, his words have meaning. We may not like what he says.
post #7 of 38
God bless Carl Ichan! AAPL has been trending upward since he first uttered the name. The fact that Apple makes great products doesn't give the company carte blanche to be a douche to Wall Street and investors. That's part of the reason Apple got so punished.
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

God bless Carl Ichan! AAPL has been trending upward since he first uttered the name. The fact that Apple makes great products doesn't give the company carte blanche to be a douche to Wall Street and investors. That's part of the reason Apple got so punished.

It definitely wasn't for financial reasons. Analyst got their feelings hurt. Wah.

Crazy Carl, buying Nuance would be better for Apple than your increased buy back scheme.
post #9 of 38
When you make more money than you can spend, I really don't understand why you want more money. Can someone help me here? What's the end goal for extremely wealthy people?
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

God bless Carl Ichan! AAPL has been trending upward since he first uttered the name. The fact that Apple makes great products doesn't give the company carte blanche to be a douche to Wall Street and investors. That's part of the reason Apple got so punished.

AAPL and Apple, Inc. are two different things. AAPL is simply part of the largest gambling organization in the world. Apple, Inc. produces great products for people. Apple has a lot of cash that doesn't have anything to do with the amount of money bouncing around the stock market. The value of AAPL only helps/hurts Apple when you discuss the shares they own. The value of AAPL stock can't be used by Apple for anything other than (maybe) getting good interest rates on loans. None of the AAPL money is used by Apple to purchase raw materials or pay salaries. This is the problem with the stock market because other than during an IPO, none of the trillions of dollars floating around the stock market can be used by the companies with their name attached to them, it's only there for the investors/gamblers (like Ichan).

post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

When you make more money than you can spend, I really don't understand why you want more money. Can someone help me here? What's the end goal for extremely wealthy people?

The challenge and bragging rights.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

When you make more money than you can spend, I really don't understand why you want more money. Can someone help me here? What's the end goal for extremely wealthy people?

Penis envy !    8-)

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post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

AAPL and Apple, Inc. are two different things. AAPL is simply part of the largest gambling organization in the world. Apple, Inc. produces great products for people. Apple has a lot of cash that doesn't have anything to do with the amount of money bouncing around the stock market. The value of AAPL only helps/hurts Apple when you discuss the shares they own. The value of AAPL stock can't be used by Apple for anything other than (maybe) getting good interest rates on loans. None of the AAPL money is used by Apple to purchase raw materials or pay salaries. This is the problem with the stock market because other than during an IPO, none of the trillions of dollars floating around the stock market can be used by the companies with their name attached to them, it's only there for the investors/gamblers (like Ichan).

 



Problem is that douche bags like him can convince other AAPL investors to make Apple Inc. take a direction it may not want to. That's the problem when companies are public. In the end their fate is really not in their hands, unless they buy back enough of their own shares.
post #14 of 38

 

Stay greedy, my friends.

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post
 

AAPL and Apple, Inc. are two different things. AAPL is simply part of the largest gambling organization in the world. Apple, Inc. produces great products for people. Apple has a lot of cash that doesn't have anything to do with the amount of money bouncing around the stock market. The value of AAPL only helps/hurts Apple when you discuss the shares they own. The value of AAPL stock can't be used by Apple for anything other than (maybe) getting good interest rates on loans. None of the AAPL money is used by Apple to purchase raw materials or pay salaries. This is the problem with the stock market because other than during an IPO, none of the trillions of dollars floating around the stock market can be used by the companies with their name attached to them, it's only there for the investors/gamblers (like Ichan).

All due respect that's a pathologically schizophrenic POV. Apple has been a public company since the 80s. A little late to put the toothpaste back in the tube, wouldn't you say?

post #16 of 38
I con.
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post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post
 

All due respect that's a pathologically schizophrenic POV. Apple has been a public company since the 80s. A little late to put the toothpaste back in the tube, wouldn't you say?

I don't think so. People keep saying they're investing in a company by putting money into the stock market. This isn't true anymore. I talked to my father-in-law about this (he finally retired at age 82) and he told me none of the investor's money goes to the company. Just because they're public doesn't mean Apple has access to the investors money. As far as buying back shares (toothpaste), Apple is doing that anyway but I'm not sure why other than to hold more stock to keep crazy people like Ichan from taking over the company for his own gain.

post #18 of 38
How stupid would Apple be to spend $150 billion buying back stock and then having to pay that sh** back just because they have 150 billion in the bank. Who does that. Help me here.
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

When you make more money than you can spend, I really don't understand why you want more money. Can someone help me here? What's the end goal for extremely wealthy people?

The same as that for anyone, namely, 'more wealth from the portfolio I manage is better than less'?*

 

Why should this be surprising, since that is, after all, what makes the world go around?

 

*Note: That does not at all mean that they shouldn't give it away. The more their portfolio generates, the more they have to give away.

post #20 of 38

Since when is half a percent a "considerable stake"?

 

Ten or twenty percent is a considerable stake, just tell him to come back when he holds more than a pittance.

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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

Since when is half a percent a "considerable stake"?

 

Ten or twenty percent is a considerable stake, just tell him to come back when he holds more than a pittance.

For values over 100 million dollars that's when. 

post #22 of 38
So what he is saying is that he'd block any tie-up between them even if it was mutual.
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob53 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

 
All due respect that's a pathologically schizophrenic POV. Apple has been a public company since the 80s. A little late to put the toothpaste back in the tube, wouldn't you say?
I don't think so. People keep saying they're investing in a company by putting money into the stock market. This isn't true anymore. I talked to my father-in-law about this (he finally retired at age 82) and he told me none of the investor's money goes to the company. Just because they're public doesn't mean Apple has access to the investors money. As far as buying back shares (toothpaste), Apple is doing that anyway but I'm not sure why other than to hold more stock to keep crazy people like Ichan from taking over the company for his own gain.

Some misunderstandings around buy backs. The companies do not hold the shares. They buy them, and then retire them. So apple doing the buy back actually makes Carl's position in apple stronger. That goes for all remaining investors. So the dividends spread across less shares.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Buying Nuance is one of the things that I wish Apple had done. If they had, then both Google and Microsoft would have been locked out of the live query business. As it is, both use Nuance, as Apple does.

But then, there have been a number of companies Apple had a chance to buy but didn't. Google was for sale for $5 billion. Apple had a chance to buy them. Apple could have bought Navigon before Nokia did back in 2005. Apple knew they needed maps back then. Think of how things could have been different.

 

Uh, hindsight is 20/20. 2005 was 2 years before the original iPhone was unveiled. I doubt Apple "knew" they needed to own inhouse maps, nor a search engine. Noone could have predicted Google would develop a mobile OS back in 2005, let alone be Apple's biggest competitor in the future. Apple wasn't a massive company, there's only so many things it could focus on. Maps would not have been at the top of the list. 

post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



Stay greedy, my friends.

Beautiful dropping of 'Stay hungry'!
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post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

When you make more money than you can spend, I really don't understand why you want more money. Can someone help me here? What's the end goal for extremely wealthy people?

They have to maintain it too. Huge amounts of wealth have to be invested in something e.g property, stock. Even Apple's billions are invested in other things. Banks can't guarantee the money because they are private companies. If they go broke (ignoring the very apparent safety net some get that isn't afforded to other companies), they can only cover a fraction of it. Inflation eats away at the value of stored money so investors are always looking for returns that beat inflation. Apple notes this in their filings:

"Given the global nature of its business, the Company has both domestic and international investments. Credit ratings and pricing of the Company’s investments can be negatively affected by liquidity, credit deterioration, financial results, economic risk, political risk, sovereign risk or other factors. As a result, the value and liquidity of the Company’s cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities may fluctuate substantially. Therefore, although the Company has not realized any significant losses on its cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, future fluctuations in their value could result in a significant realized loss.

The Company’s marketable securities investment portfolio is invested primarily in highly-rated securities and its investment policy generally limits the amount of credit exposure to any one issuer. The policy requires investments generally to be investment grade with the objective of minimizing the potential risk of principal loss.

The Company regularly reviews its investment portfolio to determine if any security is other-than-temporarily impaired, which would require the Company to record an impairment charge in the period any such determination is made. In making this judgment, the Company evaluates, among other things, the duration and extent to which the fair value of a security is less than its cost; the financial condition of the issuer and any changes thereto.

A portion of the Company’s cash is managed by external managers within the guidelines of the Company’s investment policy and to objective market benchmarks. The Company’s internal portfolio is benchmarked against external manager performance."

They only have $14b cash and cash equivalent (and cash equivalents are highly liquid investments with maturities of three months or less) but they have $132b in long and short-term marketable securities:



If they don't pick the right kind of investments, the values can drop significantly:

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=8462247

"Like many wealthy Americans, McAfee was hit hard with the simultaneous collapse of real estate, stocks and Wall Street investment banks. But he got whacked more than most, since much of his fortune was tied up in luxury properties. McAfee's net worth dropped from within the ballpark of $100 million to less than $10 million."

There will be other factors beyond protecting wealth such as having a power trip to be able to control the direction or management of well-known brands. Warren Buffet bought Heinz a while back and there are some changes happening:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/heinz-to-close-ontario-plant-cut-800-jobs/article15442338/
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101144721

The former CEO of Burger King is now CEO of Heinz and on the board of Burger King and McDonalds has decided to change sauces after 40 years. If you notice your ketchup tastes funny, you'll know why. I could see how some people would like knowing and controlling what's going on behind the scenes in business that other people don't know. Buffet's 83 now and rather than put his feet up, he's still messing around with this.
post #27 of 38

I am not too sure that he is a "major investor" while holding only 1/2 of 1% of the outstanding shares. If he spent his entire $22B dollar fortune on 
AAPL shares he would still own less than 5%. The dollar amount invested is substantial, $2.5B, but I am not sure that makes him a major investor. I do not think he will have any influence on Apple in the end. Just my opinion :-))

post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Uh, hindsight is 20/20. 2005 was 2 years before the original iPhone was unveiled. I doubt Apple "knew" they needed to own inhouse maps, nor a search engine. Noone could have predicted Google would develop a mobile OS back in 2005, let alone be Apple's biggest competitor in the future. Apple wasn't a massive company, there's only so many things it could focus on. Maps would not have been at the top of the list. 

I was posting those things back when they happened. It's not hindsight. anyone who has been here for a whole might remember my comments about those things, and numerous others.

Apple was working on the iPad from 2002, and more seriously, from 2003. When they switched to the phone first, they knew they would need maps. How long do you think it takes to get this all together? It takes years, and you can be sure that by 2005, they knew they would need maps. Indeed, they had their map app ready when the phone came out, using Google's mapping data. We saw the map app when Apple first showed the phone, 6 months before it became available. You can be sure that they were already working on it 18 months before.

Companies make mistakes. They all do. Apple has the idea that they won't buy an "expensive" company, just smaller ones with tech they would need, and want to control. The fact that they didn't buy these companies doesn't mean that they were right for not buying them. If they had, the entire landscape would look different. Apple is often stub been about doing something themselves, and then they become surprised when others move in the same direction.

We can see this happening with Samsung. Do you know that Samsung is taking big investments in major Apple suppliers? Why isn't Apple taking major investments in their major suppliers? It's nuts! Apple bought 11% of Imaginations several years ago, and what happened? Intel then took a 15% investment. Apple was expected to raise that investment, but they never did. I don't know why they didn't just buy the company. Now, others are using the same tech, and catching up with Apple in mobile graphics. Apple makes this mistake often.

Why am I not happy? Because I have a fair stake in the company, and it frustrates me.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac123 View Post

I am not too sure that he is a "major investor" while holding only 1/2 of 1% of the outstanding shares. If he spent his entire $22B dollar fortune on 

AAPL shares he would still own less than 5%. The dollar amount invested is substantial, $2.5B, but I am not sure that makes him a major investor. I do not think he will have any influence on Apple in the end. Just my opinion :-))

$2.5 billion is considered to be a major investment, even though it's just a small percentage.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I was posting those things back when they happened. It's not hindsight. anyone who has been here for a whole might remember my comments about those things, and numerous others.
Just because you see things clearly from the outside doesn't mean that it is so for people up to their Elbows in a revolutionary product.
Quote:
Apple was working on the iPad from 2002, and more seriously, from 2003. When they switched to the phone first, they knew they would need maps.
I would suggest that Apple was doing more with the concept before 2002. In any event Apple knew they needed maps and that is why they worked with Google to deliver those maps. Just to get the infrastructure in place to build out their own maps solution required a couple of years worth of acquisitions. The fact that they got all these new units to work together effectively to deliver an app as good as Apples maps is pretty impressive. Many people knock Apples Maps when it debuted, seemingly because it wasn't a carbon copy of Googles app, but it was a major accomplishment to deliver something that worked as good as it did.
Quote:
How long do you think it takes to get this all together? It takes years, and you can be sure that by 2005, they knew they would need maps. Indeed, they had their map app ready when the phone came out, using Google's mapping data. We saw the map app when Apple first showed the phone, 6 months before it became available. You can be sure that they were already working on it 18 months before.

Companies make mistakes. They all do. Apple has the idea that they won't buy an "expensive" company, just smaller ones with tech they would need, and want to control.
I'm not sure that is valid. They simply haven't found a company that appears to be worth the investment for them.
Quote:
The fact that they didn't buy these companies doesn't mean that they were right for not buying them. If they had, the entire landscape would look different. Apple is often stub been about doing something themselves, and then they become surprised when others move in the same direction.
I'm not sure what you are carrying on about here. In many cases companies are left DIY'ing business build out because the right infra structure isn't there for purchase or products and IP a fully encumbered
Quote:
We can see this happening with Samsung. Do you know that Samsung is taking big investments in major Apple suppliers? Why isn't Apple taking major investments in their major suppliers? It's nuts! Apple bought 11% of Imaginations several years ago, and what happened? Intel then took a 15% investment. Apple was expected to raise that investment, but they never did.
Why would they? You only need about ten percent of a companies stock to be able to exert significant control over the company.
Quote:
I don't know why they didn't just buy the company. Now, others are using the same tech, and catching up with Apple in mobile graphics. Apple makes this mistake often.
For one thing it is a big advantage for Apple to be a primary customer. More importantly they have the advantage of structuring their GPU based on talent draw from several companies. At this very moment Apple is employing AMD engineers in large numbers in its own labs. They may even have engineers there from other companies, the point is they can create a diverse work force that can implement different designs drawing for those different backgrounds.
Quote:
Why am I not happy? Because I have a fair stake in the company, and it frustrates me.
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

When you make more money than you can spend, I really don't understand why you want more money. Can someone help me here? What's the end goal for extremely wealthy people?

Mo' money, mo' money..... 

 

...and Imelda Marcos never did quit buying all kinds of spendy shoes until she couldn't...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

Since when is half a percent a "considerable stake"?

 

Ten or twenty percent is a considerable stake, just tell him to come back when he holds more than a pittance.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeltsBear View Post
 

For values over 100 million dollars that's when. 

Google "proxy fight".... ...with small stakes and clever wheel-dealing, major corporate fortunes can be turned, boards re-made, CEO's ousted, etc.  Most efforts fail, but iChan has clout and has won before.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post

Some misunderstandings around buy backs. The companies do not hold the shares. They buy them, and then retire them. So apple doing the buy back actually makes Carl's position in apple stronger. That goes for all remaining investors. So the dividends spread across less shares.

I guess "retired" is correct, however, my understanding is bought-back shares can just be put back on the company's books and be re-issued (or "bonused" or ...??) later without creating "brand new shares."

Also, companies generally don't issue all the stock shares they authorize in the first place, holding a reserve for various tactical and strategic reasons.

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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Buying Nuance is one of the things that I wish Apple had done. If they had, then both Google and Microsoft would have been locked out of the live query business. As it is, both use Nuance, as Apple does.

But then, there have been a number of companies Apple had a chance to buy but didn't. Google was for sale for $5 billion. Apple had a chance to buy them. Apple could have bought Navigon before Nokia did back in 2005. Apple knew they needed maps back then. Think of how things could have been different.
Mel I understand the point you mean too make but using a couple of inaccuracies to do so. Google doesn't use Nuance, their VR is homegrown, and Nokia didn't buy Navigon. Garmin did.
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post #33 of 38
Ya, let the greedy baste..r.d start an expensive proxy and get defeated, then he will roll up his blanket to leave this world and get a lesson from Steve...oops, wish they have internet between heaven and hell
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Buying Nuance is one of the things that I wish Apple had done. If they had, then both Google and Microsoft would have been locked out of the live query business. As it is, both use Nuance, as Apple does.
 

This is the exact reason Apple did not buy them the government regs on buying them would have been too difficult to deal with. Nuance controls this market for the most part everyone uses them somehow, thus the government would have barred Apple or anyone who bought them from locking any competitor out. Icahn know this as well and knows it would have been regulatory hell. 

 

Apple buys small companies which they do not have to worry about anti-competitive aand anti-trust issues.


Edited by Maestro64 - 11/20/13 at 5:57am
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Mel I understand the point you mean too make but using a couple of inaccuracies to do so. Google doesn't use Nuance, their VR is homegrown, and Nokia didn't buy Navigon. Garmin did.

Actually Motorola does use Nuance thus Google does. But I also suspect they Google in fact uses Nuance technology somehow, they may just licensing various technologies. Nuance essentially controls most all the patents around VR and speech syntheses. Either they developed the technology or they bought the companies who did. I do not think you could do any VR without somehow running into one of their patents. They own some of the most basic patents around this technologies.

 

I was bought into Nuance because of this, however, when Icahn got involved the stock keeps going down so it was time to pull the plug since I know he will somehow screw it up.

post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Actually Motorola does use Nuance thus Google does.

No Google does not use Nuance for any of their voice services, period, and never have AFAIK. Their subsidiary Motorola Mobility still may since they were purchased by Google... or not. I dunno.

I would agree with you tho that Google is likely to have taken a license to some Nuance IP so as to avoid arguments over patents. I'd guess Nuance would also have done the same, taking a license in return for pertinent Google patents. In any event if Nuance didn't exist at all it would have zero effect on Google VR. They developed their own solution that doesn't rely on Nuance in any way to make it work.
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post #37 of 38
Here's your answer Carl... YOU GET NOTHING !!! NOTHING...GO AWAY.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Why am I not happy? Because I have a fair stake in the company, and it frustrates me.

Just curious, how long have you owned Apple stock?

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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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