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

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.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Tech Industry, Apple, CXO
6
apple-down

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

6 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Carl Icahn is no different to patent Trolls

    He has the words 'Greed is good' tattooed on hit heart.
    pjc158
  • Since Carl is so smart....

    ....why doesn't he start his own company instead of sticking his nose into other companies?
    Userama
  • Stock manipulation

    isn't what he is doing (and suckering articles like this into reporting on it) verge on stock manipulation?
    wright_is
    • What a pain this guy is.......

      Dell called his bluff - does Apple have to go through that pantomime as well. What's wierd about America is a system that it helps people like Icahn profit by doing absolutely nothing except moan about good people, boast about his own non-achievements and contribute nothing.
      colinbarker
  • Predatory investors bother me

    Guys that run in, invest a few billion, and then demand a few hundreds of billions back in dividends and buybacks.

    Tech companies are extremely vulnerable to this kind of trolling - because if they get bled dry, they can't make massive investments in new technology that are sometimes needed during a paradigm shift.

    We see how important those reserves are with RIM/BlackBerry. They may not be able to execute the turnaround, but they wouldn't have even been able to try if they had been bled dry.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • Should be using it for R&D

    While I don't agree they should be doing a buyback, the investor seems correct about not sitting on a stockpile. This technology company should be doing some kind of crazy R&D with that cash that would lay foundation for tech breakthroughs(like battery tech). Maybe they are saving for a massive purchase(like Yahoo or facebook!) but somehow i doubt it. Too much cash on hand to me shows a lack of vision in the future which I think is not good for a tech company. On the positive, they show they know how to run a business and produce profits, but where is the fun in that when you have so much:)
    Jsinghroy