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Tuesday, May 07, 2013, 01:17 pm PT (04:17 pm ET)

Apple's $100B capital reinvestment prompts Greenlight hedge fund to increase stake

Greenlight Capital Chairman David Einhorn, who made waves earlier this year when he attempted to force Apple to offer preferred stock shares, has increased his stake in the company in response to its $100 billion capital reinvestment program.

Einhorn held a quarterly earnings conference call with Greenlight Capital investors on Tuesday, in which he declared Apple's $100 billion share repurchase and dividend program is "a major step forward" for the company. A transcript of his remarks was published by Seeking Alpha.

Greenlight


"We've added to our Apple position," Einhorn said Tuesday. "Now, we just wait for the release of Apple's next blockbuster product."

Greenlight's increase in Apple comes in spite of the fact that declining shares of the iPhone maker led to the hedge fund's biggest losses during the March quarter. During the period, shares of Apple were off about 17 percent.

But Apple has rebounded nearly 20 percent since the company reported its own quarterly earnings last month. And sentiment regarding the company has begun to change on some fronts, with one firm this week increasing its price target for AAPL stock."We've added to our Apple position. Now, we just wait for the release of Apple's next blockbuster product." — Greenlight Capital Chairman David Einhorn

After sinking below $400 in mid-April, the company's shares were up over $460 this week. The rebound comes after months of losses falling from its highs north of $700 last September, ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5.

Earlier this year, Einhorn publicly pushed for Apple to offer so-called "iPref" preferred shares, but the suggestion was not accepted by Apple. Greenlight Capital even went as far as to file a lawsuit against Apple over how to best utilize its massive cash reserves, but the complaint was eventually dropped in March.

Wall Street's sentiment regarding Apple has weakened as the company's growth has slowed, with lower margins resulting in lower year over year profits for the first time in a decade in the March quarter. Apple has also offered investors soft guidance through its current June quarter, but the company has also signaled that new products, including surprises, are in the works for this fall and all of 2014.

Einhorn, like other investors, eagerly awaits the company's "next blockbuster product" with particular interest this year because of a lack of major new releases seen so far in 2013. That's expected to begin to change at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where it's been said that the company will unveil new MacBook models running Intel's latest Haswell processors.