Icahn urges 'undervalued' Apple to buy back more shares

Thu Oct 9, 2014 2:39pm EDT
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By Supantha Mukherjee and Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) - Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said Apple Inc's (AAPL.O: Quote) shares could double in value and urged the company's board to buy back more shares using its $133 billion cash pile.

"We believe Apple is dramatically undervalued in today's market, and the more shares repurchased now, the more each remaining shareholder will benefit," Icahn said in a letter to Apple's board released on Thursday.

Icahn, who pledged to keep his own stock out of any repurchase, said Apple stock should be trading at $203.

"At today's price, Apple is one of the best investments we have ever seen from a risk reward perspective, and the size of our position is a testament to this. This investment represents the largest position in our investment history," Icahn wrote.

In an interview Thursday on CNBC, Icahn urged Apple to buy back as much as $100 billion in stock and said he hoped other investors would also press for a buyback.

In June the company split its stock seven for one and in April it raised its share repurchase authorization to $90 billion from the $60 billion announced a year earlier.

Apple shares rose less than 1 percent in early trading to $101.49 but slipped to $100.84 later as the broader market sold off. The stock has gained 25 percent since January.

Owning 53 million shares, Icahn ranks as one of the iPhone maker's top 10 investors and has long urged the company to buy back more shares and raise its dividend.   Continued...

Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid