Apple shares jump on Icahn dinner with CEO Cook

Reuters

NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Shares of Apple Inc. rose about 2.5 percent on Tuesday on news that billionaireactivist investor Carl Icahn had dinner with Apple chiefexecutive Tim Cook on Monday and "pushed hard" for a sharebuyback.

"Had a cordial dinner with Tim last night. We pushed hardfor a 150 billion buyback. We decided to continue dialogue inabout three weeks," Icahn tweeted on Tuesday.

In August, Icahn told Reuters that "Apple has the ability todo a $150 billion buyback now by borrowing funds at 3 percent.

He also said at the time, "If Apple does this now andearnings increase at only 10 percent, the stock - even keepingthe same multiple currently - should trade at $700 a share."

Shares of Apple rose about 2.5 percent on Tuesday to tradeover $488 a share.

Icahn told CNBC on Tuesday that his stake in Apple is wortharound $2 billion and said Apple's chief financial officer PeterOppenheimer also attended the three-hour-plus dinner meeting onMonday.

Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn, another billionaireactivist investor and huge Apple shareholder, imploredOppenheimer last year to have the company issue dividend-payingpreferred shares to reward investors and juice the stock price.

Einhorn told Reuters in February that Cook was morereceptive to the idea than Oppenheimer, who had earned areputation on Wall Street for extreme conservatism in cashmanagement.

Apple has a history of remaining liquid by investing in safebut low-yielding U.S. Treasury and agency debt. The companyshies away from big acquisitions and repeatedly preaches acapital preservation mantra to investors.

Cook did not mention the dinner in any tweets on Tuesday.

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