Carl Icahn doesn't mince words about Apple buyback idea in TV interview

Summary:Prefacing he thinks Cook is "doing a very fine job," Icahn still has plenty of suggestions for Apple.

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American financier Carl Icahn isn't one to hold back his opinions about investments he finds sound or troublesome.

That continued to be the case in a recent interview with Bloomberg Television, in which the business magnate dished some of his opinions about his recent "significant" investment in Apple.

Icahn recently voiced some of his ideas on his Twitter account about a buyback scheme, but he offered greater details about his conversations with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Prefacing that he thinks Cook is "doing a very fine job" in running the technology giant, Icahn stipulated he thinks Apple "needs a board that goes in and does a huge buyback."

Specifically, Icahn wants Apple to buy back $150 billion in stock.

For anyone not onboard with this plan, Icahn simply retorted that they must "have not bothered to read the balance sheet or maybe does not know how to read a balance sheet."

As far as Cook's opinion on the matter goes, Icahn remained mum, admitting that he "cannot talk to Tim." He replied simply that Cook agrees that Apple stock is very "cheap."

Icahn seemed confident that his advice is being taken seriously and to heart, explaining to Bloomberg that his firm "can have a voice because it is so absurd not to have a buyback, and we are not criticizing Tim Cook."

He continued:

I do not mind people criticizing, doing it for other reasons, but just to say that Apple cannot afford it because they need the money for other things is patently absurd. It is saying that activism in the right way does not work. Just look at our record, and look at how many companies we have cleaned up. It is not that we just trade stocks. We have held stocks for years and years and years, and the trouble with the company and with the economy is we protect management [from] doing a bad job.

Topics: Tech Industry, Apple, CXO

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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