Carl Icahn files Apple shareholder proposal seeking increase in share buyback program
Billionaire investor and financial activist Carl Icahn has filed a shareholder proposal with Apple, seeking support for spending even more of the company's cash reserves on its own shares.
Icahn filed the proposal on Nov. 26, three days before the deadline for the company's next annual shareholder meeting, the investor revealed to Time. The filing is a "precatory proposal," which means that Apple's board of directors will not be required to act on it, even if a majority of shareholder vote in favor of the proposal.
Apple confirmed that Icahn made the filing, and in a statement said the company is "actively seeking" input from shareholders on its current $100 billion share repurchase authorization. The company also said that any changes to its current program will be announced in the "first part of 2014."
"Apple is not a bank." - Carl IcahnThe filing by Icahn comes as no surprise, as he indicated in October that he would consider going as far as a shareholder proxy vote if Apple were to reject his buyback plan. Icahn has been publicly pushing for Apple to spend the entirety of its $150 billion in cash and reserves on its own stock.
For months now, Icahn has continuously spoken to the press in an effort to drum up support for his initiative. His interest in the company, and stature as a Wall Street icon, have even garnered him private meetings with Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer.
Icahn has been careful to note that he believes Cook has done an excellent job as CEO, a stance he reiterated once again in his interview with Time. However, when it comes to financial matters, he believes the company is mismanaging its massive cash hoard.
"Apple is not a bank," he said.
As of the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, Apple held $148.6 billion in cash, with just $35.5 billion of that held domestically. The company has signaled that it has no plans to repatriate the overseas cash it holds at current tax rates.
Icahn revealed in October that he had at the time 4.7 million shares of AAPL stock, up from a previous total of 4 million. That would give him nearly $2.7 billion stake in the company at its current value.