John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Icahn Asks Apple CEO for $150 Billion Share Buyback Over Dinner

icahn-thinking-of-cookActivist investor Carl Icahn and Apple CEO Tim Cook met on Monday, as expected. And, to hear tell from Icahn, things went reasonably well.

In a post to Twitter, Icahn said he pressed Cook to raise Apple’s stock buyback well above the $60 billion to which it’s already committed. “Had a cordial dinner with Tim last night,” Icahn tweeted. “We pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback. We decided to continue dialogue in about three weeks.”

Sounds like the billionaire investor has a bit more work to do in convincing Cook to return even more of Apple’s massive $146.6 billion cash position to the company’s shareholders.

As I wrote last week: “Apple presumably feels its buyback level is appropriate, and it’s hard to imagine it being convinced otherwise. Even with a stake as large as the one Icahn holds, the investor isn’t likely to have much influence on the way Apple allocates its capital. But who knows. Icahn’s not above picking fights with companies that don’t see things his way. And he can make plenty of trouble when he does.”

At $486.17, Apple shares are up nearly 2 percent on news of the meeting.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik