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Carl Icahn calls Apple a 'no brainer' investment as his stake grows to over $3B

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn took to his official Twitter account on Wednesday to reveal that he has purchased $500 million more shares of Apple stock in the last two weeks, and called his continued investment in the company a "no brainer."

Icahn


Icahn's total stake in Apple grew to more than $3 billion as of Tuesday, up from his previous stake of around $2.5 billion. The comments made by Iachn Tuesday morning helped to send shares up nearly 1.5 percent in early trading.

But while Icahn was complimentary of Apple as an investment, he didn't make positive remarks about the company's board of directors. The investor said that he believes Apple's board is doing a "great disservice to shareholders by not having markedly increased its buyback."

Icahn has promised to publish an "in-depth letter soon" that will discuss his continued efforts to have Apple institute a larger buyback of its own shares. As of the end of the September quarter, the company had some $150 billion in cash, most of it stored overseas, and Icahn has said he would like to see all of it spent on a share repurchase program.

During fiscal 2013, Apple spent $23 billion of an expanded $60-billion share repurchase authorization, which contributed to combined dividend payments and repurchases totaling over $43 billion since the program was initiated some six quarters ago.

Icahn


However, Icahn formally filed a shareholder proposal in November to push his repurchase plan. Apple, unsurprisingly, has recommended that investors vote against the proposal, saying that its board is already "thoughtfully considering options for returning additional cash to shareholders."

But Icahn's deep pockets and considerable sway among Wall Street ensure that his opinions on companies as large as Apple will be heard. In fact, his clout is so great that he even earned private meetings with Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer.
post #2 of 130
i'm guessing he needs all the votes he can get for his proposal. i'm still voting no.
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post #3 of 130
I think we all know Icahn is devising ways to increase apples share prices before his big sell off. Whether or not apple should buy more of its own shares is not a huge deal to me. If they buy more that's less shareholders to deal with. If they buy less that's more money to invent with. I'd like to see them stop the buy back program altogether and spend it on building a whole Apple city!
post #4 of 130
Carl is the Man. Why not buyback stock when its still cheap?
post #5 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn called his continued investment in the company a "no brainer."

That's what everyone calls Carl too.

Isn't it sick that he's probably made a couple of hundred million dollars from his investment in Apple - 100x more than average workers earn in a lifetime and more than most of the staff at Apple - while contributing precisely zero to the company (when he inevitably sells of course).
post #6 of 130
Considering most don't see APPL as long term, he's determined to get at the cash as quickly as he can before ol El'Google squashes the apple with the droid horde wars.

Not that I think that will happen, but Wall Street obviously does.
post #7 of 130

I will be voting yes on that proposal. I was thinking the exact same thing long before Icahn suggested a buyback. Unless Apple is planning some massive acquisitions which is very unlikely I think all that cash is better served buying back stock in the company than just sitting in low interest accounts doing nothing. 

post #8 of 130
The news of Icahn buying more shares has pushed all other news out of the stock app. This is really exaggerated.
post #9 of 130

Lets look at Carl's biggest investments in 2013 and their return:

 

Forest Labs 95% return in 2013

Chespeake Energy 30%

Herbalife  125%

Netflix  120%

 

It cannot be denied.  The dude helps what ever stock he owns and pushes. 

 

You guys always show hate for the guys manipulating the stock down.  Why do you hate on a guy who is manipulating it up?  Don't hate the player hate the game. 

post #10 of 130
Originally Posted by soulsearcher View Post
Unless Apple is planning some massive acquisitions which is very unlikely I think all that cash is better served buying back stock in the company than just sitting in low interest accounts doing nothing. 

 

You’d be wrong.

 

Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

It cannot be denied.  The dude helps what ever stock he owns and pushes. 

 

Nice fallacy. Try again.

 
Don't hate the player hate the game. 

 

We wouldn’t hate the player if he was doing anything whatsoever to end the game instead of playing it like the others.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #11 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsearcher View Post
 

I will be voting yes on that proposal. I was thinking the exact same thing long before Icahn suggested a buyback. Unless Apple is planning some massive acquisitions which is very unlikely I think all that cash is better served buying back stock in the company than just sitting in low interest accounts doing nothing. 

 

my feelings exactly.  I voted yes too.

 

Just from opportunity costs alone Apple lost over $45,000,000,000 last year because they kept their money in 1% accounts.  If they put the money in a index fund they would have returned 30%.  Not saying they should but if they returned money to shareholder they could have the choice to put that money in an index fund.

post #12 of 130
Will this guy just go away?
post #13 of 130

Carl doesn't think the Droid Wars are going to squash Apple.  

 

Rather, Carl recognizes that Apple is growing, in sales, market share, and profits.

 

Apple has a sticky ecosystem.  That's why short term Apple growth in these three areas, means long term Apple growth.

 

There is no such thing as a temporary Apple surge.  Apple is on a steady rise.

 

There is such a thing, however, as a precipitous Android fall.  I don't see Android going away as the world's dominant mobile OS, but I personally see Android taking a hit in 2014.

 

Adding to that hit is going to be Samsung and other companies' forking Android and also offering their own proprietary competing operating systems like Tizen.

 

They have to abandon Android in order to differentiate their product.

 

Android is a better sprinter.  Apple is better at winning marathons.

post #14 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

i'm guessing he needs all the votes he can get for his proposal. i'm still voting no.

As a long term investor, I am voting no. Apple conservatively manages its money. Once a year it does a review. Carl is just looking for a quick bump to push the stock up before selling. As a shareholder I would prefer to see an increased dividend, which favors long term investors and is more responsible.
post #15 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


That's what everyone calls Carl too.

Isn't it sick that he's probably made a couple of hundred million dollars from his investment in Apple - 100x more than average workers earn in a lifetime and more than most of the staff at Apple - while contributing precisely zero to the company (when he inevitably sells of course).

 

its not sick. He took decades to acquire the capital to make such an investment.  He spent decades working 365 days a year 15 hours a day.  The dude is a self made BILLIONAIRE.  He worked damn hard for his money.

 

Without investors Steve Jobs himself would not be able to change the world.  Most companies need outside $$$ to start.

post #16 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


As a long term investor, I am voting no. Apple conservatively manages its money. Once a year it does a review. Carl is just looking for a quick bump to push the stock up before selling. As a shareholder I would prefer to see an increased dividend, which favors long term investors and is more responsible.

 

wrong.  Dividends force investors to pay higher taxes. 

post #17 of 130

i am sorry Mr. Icahn, but you are only interested in fast and easy money, no longterm investment, no longterm strategy! This is typical for todays large players as you are one. It´s a pity, because you could be one of them to  safe the world (at least to keep it longer alive) without loosing anything. In this case,  I totally agree with the board of Apple, its managers and its strategy! I hope they will go on as they did the last 30 years and create great products with high quality!

 

best regards

 

Michael Wanger

Salzburg, Austria

post #18 of 130

To Carl Haters- Investments is about making more money. It does not matter short term or on a longer term basis as long as you are making it. Everyone has its own style of investment. 

 

The way Spamdroids poor people whine on Apple users/products, same way now Carl Haters are whining. 

 

Keep it simple------> Make money, stay happy and Ignore the noise! :err:

post #19 of 130

$150,000,000,000 cash

x 25% (average of S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq index)

 

= $37,500,000,000

 

Thats how much Apple lost from opportunity cost for having its cash in 1% accounts

 

$150,000,000,000 cash

x 35% (amount Apple is up from 6 month bottom of $385)

 

= $52,500,000,000

 

Thats how much Apple lost from opportunity cost because they did not buyback at $385

 

Of course they could not do what is stated above.  But it just illustrates the massive amounts of possible money Apple is losing for itself and its investors because the cash is doing nothing.

post #20 of 130

Imagine if Carl Icahn did not own any Apple stocks at all and had not made this proposal and we were just considering this as a hypothetical possibility. How many of you would then be opposed? From what I am reading it seems the negativity has little or nothing to do with the actual buyback but more to do with the fact that it is Carl Icahn that is pushing for it. I think the guy is also a douche and am not a fan. But take him out of the equation and please explain to me why all those billions only earning 1% could not be better served with a buyback which would lower dividend costs for Apple with less to pay out with a higher stake as well as giving Wall Street analysts slightly less influence to manipulate the stock. 

post #21 of 130
Isn't that Dale from The Walking Dead?
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #22 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


As a long term investor, I am voting no. Apple conservatively manages its money. Once a year it does a review. Carl is just looking for a quick bump to push the stock up before selling. As a shareholder I would prefer to see an increased dividend, which favors long term investors and is more responsible.

My Schwab proxy recommended a 'no' vote, and I agree.

Frankly, I'll take the advise of the guys who are (ostensibly) on my side. Carl will cash out if he gets his big bump, causing as much as a dive as he (possibly) caused on the upside.

post #23 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

wrong.  Dividends force investors to pay higher taxes. 

I can't quite understand why people concern themselves with the tax rate on free money.
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post #24 of 130
Keep the cash...buy Nintendo & GoPro.
post #25 of 130
Cue CNBC live free monologue PR segment.
post #26 of 130
Carl's issue is the excess cash. Apple owes the stockholders an explanation
His buying Apple suggests that Apple is undervalued.
Buying Yahoo may be a better idea
And the Chairman of the board of Apple should not have a full time job, as CEO of a company owned by Google, the name is Calico
post #27 of 130

He's a vulture who has no interest in Apple's long term future. It makes NO financial sense to buy back shares at a historically high price at this kind of level. Apple currently has the balance about right, but anything more aggressive hurts them in the long term. If in 4, 5 or 10 years time, the landscape is different and Apple needs to raise money, it might be selling the shares at a loss.

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post #28 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

He took decades to acquire the capital to make such an investment.  He spent decades working 365 days a year 15 hours a day.  The dude is a self made BILLIONAIRE.  He worked damn hard for his money.

Not exactly:

http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/mobility/240158732/8-snapshots-of-carl-icahn-takeovers.htm?pgno=8
http://www.streetauthority.com/investing-basics/how-invest-carl-icahn-477322

"The leveraged buyout was one of the great financial inventions of the 1980s. Buying companies with little money down and stuffing them with debt before exiting with a massive gain turned millionaires into billionaires and forever changed the rules on the Street.

Icahn's reputation as a ruthless corporate raider was born in 1985 after his hostile takeover of TWA, a struggling airline company. Icahn was able to extract close to a $1 billion profit from the deal with little capital. After executing a hostile takeover and selling TWA assets to pay back the loans he used to buy the company in the first place, Icahn then took TWA private in 1988 for a profit of more than $465 million in less than three years. Three years later, Icahn sold TWA's lucrative London routes to American Airlines for $445 million."

Taking over a company using debt, stripping out the assets to repay himself via a stock buyback and leaving the company in bankruptcy is not what I'd call working damn hard. That left the company worthless and tens of thousands of people who did work hard out of a job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Without investors Steve Jobs himself would not be able to change the world.  Most companies need outside $$$ to start.

Which is exactly one of the problems with social mobility. Why do you make out like this is a good thing? If it wasn't for Steve and his money, Pixar wouldn't have happened either. It shouldn't require the preferences of rich people to decide which good ideas take off and which don't, they should stand on their own merit.
post #29 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Not exactly:

http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/mobility/240158732/8-snapshots-of-carl-icahn-takeovers.htm?pgno=8
http://www.streetauthority.com/investing-basics/how-invest-carl-icahn-477322

"The leveraged buyout was one of the great financial inventions of the 1980s. Buying companies with little money down and stuffing them with debt before exiting with a massive gain turned millionaires into billionaires and forever changed the rules on the Street.

Icahn's reputation as a ruthless corporate raider was born in 1985 after his hostile takeover of TWA, a struggling airline company. Icahn was able to extract close to a $1 billion profit from the deal with little capital. After executing a hostile takeover and selling TWA assets to pay back the loans he used to buy the company in the first place, Icahn then took TWA private in 1988 for a profit of more than $465 million in less than three years. Three years later, Icahn sold TWA's lucrative London routes to American Airlines for $445 million."

Taking over a company using debt, stripping out the assets to repay himself via a stock buyback and leaving the company in bankruptcy is not what I'd call working damn hard. That left the company worthless and tens of thousands of people who did work hard out of a job.
Which is exactly one of the problems with social mobility. Why do you make out like this is a good thing? If it wasn't for Steve and his money, Pixar wouldn't have happened either. It shouldn't require the preferences of rich people to decide which good ideas take off and which don't, they should stand on their own merit.

 

My point is Steve Jobs needed investors at THE VERY BEGINNING.

 

Are you the Moas guy who downgraded Apple because of moral issues?  This is Wall Street not the Red Cross.  Everything Ichan did with TWA was legal.  It was the TWA BOD that failed the employees.

post #30 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I can't quite understand why people concern themselves with the tax rate on free money.

 

Dividends are NOT FREE money.

 

Would you be happy with your paycheck got taxed TWICE?  That's whats happening when you receive dividends.  First Apple pay taxes on their earnings.  Then they distribute their earnings as dividends.  Now the investors have to pay taxes AGAIN on the dividends.

 

A buyback gives each shareholder a larger ownership stake in the company and does not cause a taxable event. 

post #31 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

My point is Steve Jobs needed investors at THE VERY BEGINNING.

 

In the 70's, most investors actually wanted the thing they invested in to succeed. By the late 80's, it was just about bleeding everything dry. Not all investors, obviously, but Icahn pretty much invented Vulture Capitalism. He's an anathema to creativity and growth - for him, Apple is a just a big juicy bag of blood to be drained dry.

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post #32 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post
 

 

In the 70's, most investors actually wanted the thing they invested in to succeed. By the late 80's, it was just about bleeding everything dry. Not all investors, obviously, but Icahn pretty much invented Vulture Capitalism. He's an anathema to creativity and growth - for him, Apple is a just a big juicy bag of blood to be drained dry.

 

Mr Icahn of the 80s was that.

But look at his track record the last 5 years.  He has helped almost every single company he has invested in (Forest Labs, Chesapeke Energy, Herbalife, netflix).  He has done so by shaking up the BOD and bringing shareholder value by stopping the waste of assets.  Even companies he has sold (Netflix) are in a much better position than it started at.

 

But that's besides the point.  The whole point is that I agree with the buyback.  In fact when Apple announced the $60B buyback last year my first thought was it should be $100B.  And this was far before Ichan entered the scene.

 

Just because Ichan may lack ethics does not mean his business ideas are WRONG.

Just because someone is a Saint does not mean his business acumen is RIGHT.

 

Warren Buffet himself a KING OF LONG TERM INVESTING told Steve Jobs to buyback shares when the market is not pricing it correctly.

post #33 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Dividends are NOT FREE money.

Would you be happy with your paycheck got taxed TWICE?  That's whats happening when you receive dividends.  First Apple pay taxes on their earnings.  Then they distribute their earnings as dividends.  Now the investors have to pay taxes AGAIN on the dividends.

A buyback gives each shareholder a larger ownership stake in the company and does not cause a taxable event. 

I have to work to get a paycheck, and helped the company I work for earn revenue which they pay taxes on and then I have to pay tax. A dividend is given to someone who did nothing but take a risk by investing. They didn’t lift a finger to help that company earn, so yes it is indeed free money.
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post #34 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

$150,000,000,000 cash


x 25% (average of S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq index)


 


= $37,500,000,000


 


Thats how much Apple lost from opportunity cost for having its cash in 1% accounts


 


$150,000,000,000 cash


x 35% (amount Apple is up from 6 month bottom of $385)


 


= $52,500,000,000


 


Thats how much Apple lost from opportunity cost because they did not buyback at $385


 


Of course they could not do what is stated above.  But it just illustrates the massive amounts of possible money Apple is losing for itself and its investors because the cash is doing nothing.


 



You aren't taking into consideration the U.S. federal income tax that Apple would have to pay to bring it's money back onto U.S. soil to purchase its own shares. Apple is holding the vast majority of its cash overseas for that reason.

Stock repurchase also doesn't guarantee that Apple's stock goes up and stays up. If Apple has a bad quarter, for whatever reason, the stock would go down. Then those of us not in favor of more buybacks would come out of the woodworks saying that Apple wasted its money on repurchasing the stock in the $550 range if it were to fall $100/share, back to $450. Apple has to "buy low" just like the rest of us, but can't if it's in a locked-in "must spend $xxx billion in y years" program.

Dividend payments, on the other hand, are more consistent and reliable, and reward long-term shareholders every quarter for holding onto the stock, rather than those who just want to "pump and dump" it like Carl Icahn.
post #35 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I have to work to get a paycheck, and helped the company I work for earn revenue which they pay taxes on and then I have to pay tax. A dividend is given to someone who did nothing but take a risk by investing. They didn’t lift a finger to help that company earn, so yes it is indeed free money.

 

This is one of the stupidest things i've ever read in my life.

 

Thats like saying the interest earned on your savings account is 'FREE MONEY'

Or the growth in your 401k is 'FREE MONEY'

So tax those TWICE. Ridiculous.

 

Its like saying the money you receive from a rental property is FREE MONEY.

Or the money received from a CD or Annuity is FREE MONEY.

WTF, GTFO.


Edited by sog35 - 1/22/14 at 10:50am
post #36 of 130
Is he referring to himself as 'we'?
post #37 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by DamonF View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

$150,000,000,000 cash

 

x 25% (average of S&P, Dow, and Nasdaq index)

 

 

 

= $37,500,000,000

 

 

 

Thats how much Apple lost from opportunity cost for having its cash in 1% accounts

 

 

 

$150,000,000,000 cash

 

x 35% (amount Apple is up from 6 month bottom of $385)

 

 

 

= $52,500,000,000

 

 

 

Thats how much Apple lost from opportunity cost because they did not buyback at $385

 

 

 

Of course they could not do what is stated above.  But it just illustrates the massive amounts of possible money Apple is losing for itself and its investors because the cash is doing nothing.

 



You aren't taking into consideration the U.S. federal income tax that Apple would have to pay to bring it's money back onto U.S. soil to purchase its own shares. Apple is holding the vast majority of its cash overseas for that reason.

Stock repurchase also doesn't guarantee that Apple's stock goes up and stays up. If Apple has a bad quarter, for whatever reason, the stock would go down. Then those of us not in favor of more buybacks would come out of the woodworks saying that Apple wasted its money on repurchasing the stock in the $550 range if it were to fall $100/share, back to $450. Apple has to "buy low" just like the rest of us, but can't if it's in a locked-in "must spend $xxx billion in y years" program.

Dividend payments, on the other hand, are more consistent and reliable, and reward long-term shareholders every quarter for holding onto the stock, rather than those who just want to "pump and dump" it like Carl Icahn.

 

That's why I said Apple would not be able to buyback the entire $150B.  But they could do better than the $26B they have done so far.

 

A buyback is done when the stock is undervalued at LONG TERM VALUATION.  We are talking 5 to 10 year valuations.  They don't care about what the stock will be during the next earnings or some BS report from the NY times.  If Apple believes the stock is undervalued at its LONG TERM VALUATION they should buyback.

 

The problem is my LONG TERM VALUATION is $600-$675.  Once we go over $600 it would make ZERO sense to buyback.  That's why it was such a missed opportunity not to buy back the whole $60B when the stock was at $385-$400.  They could have done so by a combination of bonds, paying some fed taxes, and other loopholes.  If they bought back $60B at $385-$400 they would have increased shareholder value by over $18,000,000,000. 

 

Carl is pleading that Apple ACCELERATE the buyback.  They already missed a golden opportunity 6 months ago.  And I'm sorry to say the day of buying shares below $600 may end in a week after blowout earnings are announced.

 

Dividends have benefits.  But they are also taxed TWICE. Also once you raise a dividend it is almost impossible to lower the dividend without facing MAJOR sell-offs and value erosion.  On the other hand Buybacks are TEMPORARY and there are many cases that the buyback is never completed because the buyback price was never attractive.  You just have so much more flexability with a buyback.  You can increase or decrease the amount or increase or decrease the window of buying with no adverse consequences.  If you stopped one quarter of Apple dividends I guarantee the stock would drop 10% in one day.


Edited by sog35 - 1/22/14 at 10:55am
post #38 of 130
Carl's argument is the excess cash. But if Apple has good earnings on Monday, then the cash will not be a big issue, but if the earnings disappoint, it will be a different story. By the way who is in charge of managing the cash? I doubt that it is Tim Cook. It would seem that he does not have the background and time to manage it.
And the Chairman of the board works full time for a Google company as CEO. The makeup of the board does not have anybody with much financial or investment background.
post #39 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

This is one of the stupidest things i've ever read in my life.

Thats like saying the interest earned on your savings account is 'FREE MONEY'
Or the growth in your 401k is 'FREE MONEY'
So tax those TWICE. Ridiculous.

Yes it is all free money. What's wrong with that term?
Btw many things are taxed multiple times. Why aren’t you screaming bloody murder on paying sales tax with money you paid income tax on?
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post #40 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I have to work to get a paycheck, and helped the company I work for earn revenue which they pay taxes on and then I have to pay tax. A dividend is given to someone who did nothing but take a risk by investing. They didn’t lift a finger to help that company earn, so yes it is indeed free money.

 

Guess what?  Their are probably shareholders/partners that own the company you work for that don't lift a finger to help the company.  Yet you are allowing them to take the MAJORITY of the profits?  Why work for such a company!  Why not go at it on your own!  Why not start your own business!  Since its soooooooooooooooooooooooo easy!  You don't even need to lift a finger!  Then once you own the company and retire would you expect to be able to get profits out of the company?  Of course not!!! You are not lifting a finger anymore so you dont DESERVE any money from it!!!!  Its FREE MONEY! You should be happy to get 1 cent! 

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