Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor has quit the demand of asking Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to raise the volume of its stock buybacks, owing to the company’s latest buybacks, as well as, an influential proxy adviser’s call against his proposal. Apple shares closed up 1.8% higher at $528.99 on Monday.
Icahn content with Apple’s effort
Icahn wrote in his letter to investors that he is now putting down his non-binding proposal to force Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to add another $50 billion to its stock buyback plan, “especially when the company is already so close to fulfilling our requested repurchase target.”
In his letter, Icahn mentioned that latest repurchases are one of the biggest of their kind, and have been somewhat like “bailing with a leaky bucket” according to the scale of its cash reserves, but they are satisfactory. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had almost $160 billion in cash at the end of 2013.
“As Tim Cook describes them, these recent actions taken by the company to repurchase shares have been both ‘opportunistic’ and ‘aggressive’ and we are supportive,” Icahn wrote.
On Sunday, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) asked shareholders not to vote for Icahn’s nonbinding proposal, stating that the motion would “micromanage” how the company uses capital. Proxy advisor firm Egan-Jones also advised the shareholders to vote against Icahn’s plan in the upcoming shareholders meeting on February 28th.
Apple Repurchase, a record
Icahn has urged Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for quite a while now to increase its stock buyback program proposing the company to buy another $50 billion.
Last week, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple told Wall Street Journey that Apple has repurchased $14 billion of stock, in the two weeks since reporting financial results that dissatisfied Wall Street. Also, according to Cook the company has repurchased more than $40 billion of its shares over the past 12 months. He said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) made a record over any other company over the similar time span.
Antony Filippo, a Toronto-based independent investment manager, told Reuters that it seems like Icahn’s efforts paid off, and Apple’s board and Icahn are meeting halfway. He said that Icahn wanted to initiate a change and he successfully did that to an extent. Repurchase of around $14 billion around the $500 mark is commendable, according to Filippo. That would not have been possible without Icahn.