This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Apple: Is Carl Icahn Acting Unethically?

Stocks in this article: AAPL NFLX

I don't know.

You buy a stock. You know your own strength. You use your Twitter account to make an announcement you know will drive the shares ... instantly. Again, nothing technically wrong with that I guess, but the impact is, arguably, greater taking the Twitter route than merely letting the SEC paperwork run its course.

As Netflix (NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings proved, for better or worse, we live in different times with different ways to communicate the same old flavors of news. It's tough to get crazy over anybody -- from Icahn to Hastings -- using social media to relay information and, if they even considered it, move a market.

The more interesting question, however, considers this dinner Icahn will have with Cook. He is long the stock. It appears that, by his own admission, he will receive, in some fashion, material information about Apple, specifically the "magnitude" of the company's buyback, that will not have been released to the public. Otherwise, what's the point of talking?

And what's material? Cook telling Icahn Apple will consider increasing the buyback. Or Cook telling him they will. Or something more implicit, such as Carl, you and I have the same goals or We see eye-to-eye, brother man.

Is this, in and of itself, illegal? I'm not 100% sure. Is it unethical? I think you can reasonably make that case.

Most of us do not have this type of access. By the same token, most of us do not have as massive a position in our entire portfolio (though my contract prohibits me from owning individual stocks other than TheStreet (TST)), let alone one stock, as Icahn does in AAPL. So does this reality automatically grant him such an incredible advantage? One that is not available to the rest of the public.

Again. Very debatable.

Let's just riff here.

You own AAPL. You set up a dinner with Tim Cook. He, as it sounds like will happen with Icahn in September, discusses with you details about the "magnitude" of Apple's stock buyback. You walk away with a much better sense -- and maybe even specifics -- about the subject.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • 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 Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs