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Friday, 23 August 2013 08:42

Icahn has words with Apple’s Cook

Written by Nick Farrell

Chatting about share buy-back programmes

Carl Icahn has spoken again with Apple CEO Tim Cook about the size of the iPhone maker's buyback programme. The hedge fund billionaire revealed on Twitter he had taken a large position in Apple and was pushing for the company to expand its program of share buybacks.

Apple shares rose five per cent as Icahn announced that he thought the stock was undervalued, which means that he made a fortune out of just making that announcement. But on Thursday, Apple's stock held steady at about $501.11 in late trade on the Nasdaq, resuming trade after a glitch halted trading in Nasdaq-listed securities for more than two hours. Icahn said that Cook believes in buyback and is doing one and they were meeting up to discuss the magnitude of it.

Cook had already announced it is boosting its share buyback program six-fold to $60 billion. As part of that program, it bought about more than $16 billion worth of stock in the June quarter, much more than analysts had expected. Icahn wants Apple to do a $150 billion buyback now by borrowing funds at 3 percent. And he argued that by increasing its program, Apple's stock could regain the $700 level it touched in September.

Nick Farrell

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