Time for Apple to Listen to Carl Icahn

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Apple AAPL sank on Monday, as investors collectively booed the 51 million iPhones sold and second-quarter guidance.

You could argue that perhaps the company was sandbagging guidance -- or intentionally lowering estimates to make it an easier bar to hurdle next quarter -- but management already stated last year that it was not going to do that anymore.

The problem is, people keep looking at Apple as some sort of magician-like company. They expect the $450 billion market cap company to grow like it has a $50 billion market cap. 

Those people ignore the nice dividend and share buyback, rock-solid balance sheet, and high-end brand recognition. Instead, they choose to whine about iPhone sales -- which again, still topped 50 million units in the quarter! -- and cry about Apple not acquiring a smoke alarm company (e.g.: Google's GOOG acquisition of Nest).

Never mind that Apple just opened the doors to the biggest smartphone market in the world with Asia, or that CEO Tim Cook confirmed new product introductions for 2014 in the most recent conference call.

Shareholders are still confused. They don't get it. Apple, right now, is no longer a high-growth company. Earnings per share increased, but net profit didn't. EPS increased due to the company's share buyback. So is it time for more? Should the company listen to hedge fund manager Carl Icahn?

The problem seems to be that investors don't want to see their company get bullied by a guy like Icahn. Even if he's right, investors don't want to see how easily the company they own shares in caves to an activist investor, no matter how loud he or she may yell.

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