Icahn Letter to Tim Cook: Apple Shares to $240, First Trillion-Dollar Company

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Billionaire investor and Apple (AAPL) shareholder Carl Icahn believes the company to be vastly undervalued, he wrote in an open letter to CEO Tim Cook today.

"After reflecting upon Apple's tremendous success, we now believe Apple shares are worth $240 today," he wrote.

Apple shares are currently trading around $130, making the company worth nearly $750 billion. Should the company's shares climb to $240, as Icahn says they should, Apple would be worth nearly $1.5 trillion. Already the most valuable company in the world, this growth would put Apple in a league of its own, multiples ahead of Microsoft (MSFT) and ExxonMobil (XOM), which are each worth around $400 billion today. 

Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS owns Apple and says this is a stock to own, not trade. Read his analysis here.

Apple is to Icahn as Kim Kardashian is to Kanye West: Both titans view the objects of their affection as vastly undervalued and misunderstood -- and spend enormous amounts of time trying to convince the rest of the world that their view is right.

More than 18 months after first disclosing a stake in Apple via Twitter (TWTR), Icahn continues to sing the company's praises.

"Every 50 years, you get a company like this, that's got everything going for it," he said in a recent interview with Wall Street Week.

Since Icahn announced his position in 2013, the stock has climbed more than 90%. And the billionaire isn't cashing in yet -- in fact, quite the opposite. This latest in-depth report on the company shows he still believes the technology giant is undervalued.

Icahn's push began in August 2013, when he took to Twitter to disclose his stake. "We currently have a large position in APPLE," he wrote. "We believe the company to be extremely undervalued. Spoke to Tim Cook today. More to come."

Nine days later, the billionaire tweeted about the company again and said he had planned a dinner with Cook in September. While both agreed on a stock buyback, they were on different pages in terms of its magnitude. (Icahn wanted something much bigger.)

Icahn's Apple campaign intensified after his meeting with Cook in the fourth quarter of 2013.

In October, he vocalized a push for a $150 buyback and published a letter to Tim Cook on his recently launched website, Shareholders' Square Table. "From our perspective, Apple is the world's greatest consumer product innovator and has one of the strongest and most respected brand names in history," he wrote. "We consider Apple to be our most compelling investment."

By December, the relationship had become a bit more hostile. In an interview with TIME, Icahn revealed he had filed a shareholder proposal with Apple calling for an increased buyback program. He again complemented Tim Cook, saying he was doing a "great job" with the business, but also took a swing at the company's growing cash stockpile. "Apple is not a bank," he said.

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