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Wednesday, 29 January 2014 09:33

Icahn takes advantage of Apple woes

Written by Nick Farrell



Give your cash pile to shareholders

While Apple is in trouble as its sales tumble, it seems that the outfit might lose its huge cash pile to pay off its shareholders. Apple has some serious problems coming its way in 2014 as its old business model of heavily marketing the same phone at an outrageous price comes unstuck. But even if sales disappeared overnight, the company has a huge nest egg of cash which it could use to buy its way out of trouble.

The only problem with that is that shareholders want that money given to them. Hedge fund billionaire Carl Icahn is taking advantage of the lower Apple shareprice to buy another half a billion dollars' worth of Apple stock on Tuesday. The Tame Apple Press claimed that this signalled confidence in the iPhone maker even after it gave a disappointing revenue forecast for the current quarter. They appear to have forgotten that Icahn wants Apple to use its huge cash pile to buy its own shares off the market and increase the price.

Icahn said that Apple shares are very cheap. They are going at six to seven times earnings, Icahn said. It's not like we are holding something that is trading at 100 times earnings. Icahn has provided a blow-by-blow account on Twitter of every new investment he's made in Apple since Wednesday, when he disclosed a $500 million purchase that took his position to $3 billion. He did so again on Thursday.

The idea is that it means that if Apple is going to keep control it is also going to have to buy shares and use its cashpile to do so. Ichan said that his buying seems to be going neck-and-neck with Apple's buyback program, but hopes that they win that race, otherwise he could find himself in charge of Jobs’ Mob.

Nick Farrell

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