Apple buyback? Still not happening, but Icahn buys another $500M in shares

Summary:Investors hoping to hear something new about Apple's share repurchase program were disappointed by more than its sluggish iPhone sales. With the stock under even more pressure, Carl Icahn announced he'd purchased another $500 million worth of shares.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook had liitle or nothing new to say about a possible stock buyback plan in the wake of Apple's somewhat disappointing first-quarter earnings report .

Any hope that Apple would escalate its share repurchase plan ended about halfway through the company's earnings call with analysts when Cook essentially said there's nothing new to announce on the buyback front – at least not yet.

"We've been buying back (shares) all year," he said, noting that the company has repurchased just north of $28 billion in stock of the $60 billion authorized to date.

Apple did announce a cash dividend of $3.05 a share Monday that will be paid out to all shareholders of record on Feb. 13.

And while activist investor Carl Icahn has derided Apple's board for hoarding its cash – now almost $160 billion following the latest quarter – Cook made it clear that he and Apple won't be bullied into altering course.

"I'm a big believer in buying back stock," he said. "That doesn't change whether the stock goes up or down."

Well, the down part of that equation became more pronounced in the immediate aftermath of Apple's record-breaking yet somehow disappointing first-quarter results. Sales in the quarter checked in at $57.6 billion and it raked in a profit of $13.07 billion, or $14.50 a share – easily topping the most optimistic EPS estimates.

But that didn't stop Apple shares from plummeting in after-hours trading, and the sell-off continued Tuesday morning as shares fell as much as 8 percent at one point before recovering to be off just $37.50 a share, or 6.8 percent, to $513 a share.

Meanwhile, Icahn broke his silence late Tuesday morning when he tweeted that he had just purchased another $500 million in Apple shares, bringing his total investment to more than $4 billion.

"My buying seems to be going neck-and-neck with Apple's buyback program," he tweeted. "But (I) hope they win that race."

 

Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone

About

Larry Barrett is a freelance journalist and blogger who has covered the information technology and business sectors for more than 15 years. Most recently, he served as the online news editor for 1105 Media's Office Technology Group and as the online managing editor for SourceMedia's Investment Advisory Group publications Financial Pl... Full Bio

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