Carl Icahn just declared victory even after losing. Icahn dropped his proposal for Apple (AAPL) to buy back $50 billion of its own shares.
In a statement, Icahn wrote, “We see no reason to persist with our nonbinding proposal, especially when the company is already so close to fulfilling our requested repurchase target," which basically means, ‘hey listen, Apple’s buying it back anyway with the opportunistic aggressive repurchase we saw yesterday, I don’t really care one way or the other, I’d rather have the company make new products.’
Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS), of course, came out over the weekend and said they don’t really want Icahn micromanaging the buyback and they too would like to see the company focus on products. As a shareholder I kind of would as well. The pressure is ratcheting up on Tim Cook to come out with something new either next month or preferably sooner, because it’s been a couple of years sine we’ve seen something.
In terms of the stock Apple has regained more than half of what the company lost when it fell from $550 per share to under $500 before that “opportunistic aggressive buyback.” We’ve also gotten rid of a potential overhang on the stock because we don’t want Cook micromanaging, as ISS says, the share price. We want him focused on new products.
The buyback is taking care of itself, and listen, I’d rather have the company come out with something new, something exciting. If that happens, Icahn wins, I win, you win, everyone wins.
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