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Carl Icahn Is Bad News for Apple and Investors

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia published an excellent reaction this morning to the much-hyped Carl Icahn investment in Apple (AAPL).

In Carl Icahn is Short-Sighted on Apple, Chris cuts through the hysteria:

Icahn advocating for a larger buyback at this vantage point doesn't make particular sense now ...
It's possible that Apple shares rise in the short-term, as investors place optimism that Icahn can agitate Apple enough to get it to do something. That optimism is short-sighted, as the focus for Apple over the next 12 months should be focusing on products, software and services that can help in the long run, not just buying back additional shares.

I agree 100%.

While I can't speak for Chris, I would assume we diverge as I take his thought a step or 12 further.

What Carl Icahn has done isn't all that dissimilar to what David Einhorn did. He's taking advantage of weak management. Apple now operates in an environment where cats like Ichahn and Einhorn -- and even relatively mere mortals -- aren't afraid to approach or encroach on Tim Cook's barn. He's not going to tell them to buzz off like Steve Jobs would have. And, worse yet, he might even listen to their advice!

That's what Cook did with Einhorn. Sure, he didn't adopt Einhorn's plan to a tee, but the hedge fund manager got what we wanted -- some income to help prop up what was a losing position.

It must be sweet to be Icahn. Accumulate a stock. Then go on Twitter to announce your position, your conviction that the company is undervalued and name drop about a conversation with the CEO. Stock goes up. And on paper you're position has made you even wealthier than you were to begin with.

The retail slugs follow and, hopefully, will be nimble enough to profit as well.

But, as Chris says, Tim Cook shouldn't listen to Icahn's apparent buyback advice. Or anything else for that matter.

As was the case when the dividend/buyback discussion started and Einhorn took it to another level, it's a sad day when these are the types of things that have to pump AAPL stock.

Even though Icahn is long, nothing has changed at Apple. It's still present-day dominant with a frighteningly uncertain future. That's what Tim Cook needs to focus on. Executing over the next six to 12 months in a way that's on par with what we have seen over the last five years. Carl Icahn will do nothing but distract Cook, Apple and its well-intentioned shareholders from what's really important.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in New York City

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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