Given Icahn's stake in the company, (Icahn didn't reveal the size of his stake on Twitter, but it's been reported to be worth at least $1 billion, and perhaps more than $1.5 billion), he likely doesn't have the clout to advocate further change for an expanded buyback.
Icahn has pushed for change at other tech companies, and is currently locked in a battle over the fate of Dell (DELL). Apple however is a different beast, considering it's the largest company in the S&P 500 and far bigger than anything he's gone up against before.
UBS analyst Steve Milunovich who rates Apple "buy" with a $500 price target, believes Icahn may be unsuccessful in his attempts. "We think that unlikely with Apple already repurchasing about 5% of shares annually and offering a 2.5% dividend yield," Milunovich wrote in his note. "There doesn't appear to be much to agitate for aside from a larger buyback unless Icahn thinks Cook isn't doing a good job."
Apple doesn't need distractions from Icahn or other activist investors right now. Icahn tweeted that him and Apple CEO Tim Cook planned "to speak again shortly," suggesting that Icahn isn't done pressing on this issue.It's possible that Apple does expand its buyback program in a few years, but that's quite a ways away. The focus on Apple right now, and over the next six months, should be new products. Apple is slated to announce a new iPhone perhaps as soon as Sept. 10, and a new iPad and iPad mini could come in October. Otherwise, Apple becomes just like any other company, and that's not something shareholders, including Icahn, want to see. --Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Chris_Ciaccia
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV