Citing concerns in China, activist investor Carl Icahn no longer owns shares of Apple
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Billionaire Carl Icahn, who has used his financial clout to influence boardroom decisions at publicly traded companies, announced on Thursday that he no longer owns shares in Apple, just days after the company announced its first revenue decline in over a decade.
Appearing on CNBC, Icahn revealed that he is no longer an investor in AAPL. The activist investor was previously bullish on the iPhone maker, having shared his own price target of $240 per share a year ago.
Carl Icahn said he still views Apple as a "great company" and that CEO Tim Cook is doing a good job, but he's concerned about interference from the Chinese government.
Despite the bold prediction, shares of Apple haven't come anywhere close to that target, which would value the company at $1.4 trillion. Shares of the company have traded under $100 this week, following a March quarter that disappointed Wall Street.
With the first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales, Apple's revenue fell from $58.01 billion in 2015 to $50.6 billion in 2016. Sales in China were off 26 percent.
Icahn said he still views Apple as a "great company," but said concerns over the Chinese economy and its government led him to sell off his shares. He expressed concern that the Chinese government could "come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there."
After the announcement, shares of AAPL slid even further in Thursday afternoon trading.
Icahn had already cut his position in AAPL in late 2015, shedding 7 million shares. But at the time he still owned a massive 45.8 million shares in the company.
Back in 2013, Icahn and Apple had a contentious relationship, during which the billionaire attempted to file a shareholder proxy vote to push Apple to repurchase more of its own shares. Icahn eventually dropped that initiative after Apple bought some $14 billion worth of its own shares in a matter of weeks in early 2014.
This week, Apple announced it will add $50 billion to its capital return program, and also increase its quarterly dividend by 10 percent. But that apparently wasn't enough for Icahn to stay invested in the company.