SAN FRANCISCO — Activist investor Carl Icahn thinks Apple should be doing more to revive its stock price, and wants to help CEO Tim Cook with the resuscitation.
Icahn, an outspoken billionaire renowned for pouncing on out-of-favor stocks, signaled he has Apple Inc. in his sights. He spoke out on Tuesday with a couple of messages posted on a Twitter account that he recently opened to attack Dell Inc.’s proposed sale to a group led by its CEO, Michael Dell.
The Twitter posts announced that Icahn had acquired a large but unspecified stake in Apple and that he had just had a “nice conversation” with Cook about his belief that the maker of the iPhone and iPad should be using even more of its $147 billion in cash to buy back its own stock. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling described Icahn’s discussion with Cook as positive, but declined to elaborate. “We appreciate the interest and investment of all our shareholders,” Dowling said.
In April, Apple pledged to spend $60 billion buying back its stock through the end of 2015 as a way to return some of its cash to shareholders. About $18 billion of that commitment already had been spent through June 29. Apple also plans to dole out more than $10 billion in shareholder dividends each year.=