Warren Buffett’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway has purchased more than a billion dollars worth of AAPL stock. An SEC filing (via CNBC) revealed that the fund had purchased 9,811,747 shares worth a total of $1.069B as at the end of the first quarter.
It’s believed that Berkshire Hathaway owned few AAPL shares prior to this move. Warren Buffett said way back in 2011 that the conglomerate ‘held very few in the past and we’re likely to hold very few in the future’ as the company’s long-term prospects were too difficult to predict …
While Apple didn’t have an official presence at the New York Times DealBook Conference yesterday (not counting former US Vice President Al Gore who sits on Apple’s board), the Cupertino company still got plenty of airtime on stage. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty explained her company’s relationship with Apple and how their partnership is beneficial for changing how iPhones and iPads are used, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings addressed Amazon’s recent move to block Apple TVs and Google Chromecasts from its store, and activist investor Carl Icahn shares how he discovered Apple, which he calls “the greatest company in the world.” Check out each video appearance below from yesterday’s conference to see what they had to say: expand full story
High-profile investor and AAPL shareholder Carl Icahn has published yet another open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, this time giving his thoughts on new product categories that he expects Apple to enter alongside his usual advice for the company on share repurchases, valuation, and more.
As for his product predictions, Icahn highlights two new big categories, both of which have been reported in detail and rumored for the last year, including TV and electric vehicles. Icahn thinks Apple will release full-fledged UHD TV sets sometime next year…
Two days after Apple set a new record for the highest market capitalization of any company, valuing it at more than $700B, billionaire investor Carl Icahn has suggested the true value of the company is close to double this, at $1.3T.
Icahn, who is one of the company’s ten biggest shareholders with stock worth around $6.5B, says that a realistic valuation of the company would be 20 times its earnings per share. Factoring in Apple’s cash reserves of $178B, that would give a share price of $216–for a total company value of $1.3T.
Icahn notes that while he has previously been criticized for over-optimistic valuations of AAPL, 31 analysts have “dramatically increased” their earnings-per-share estimates in the past fortnight.
We have gained further confidence in our thesis, increasing the forecasted EPS for FY 2015 in our model from $9.60 to $9.70, and now believe the market should value Apple at $216 per share. This is why we continue to own approximately 53 million shares worth $6.5 billion, and why we have not sold a single share.
Icahn has consistently urged Apple’s board to increase the pace of its stock buyback program, his last call coming at a time when the shares were trading at $100. At the time of writing, shares were trading at $124.88. Apple recently set another world record, announcing the highest ever quarterly profit of any company.
Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty has added AAPL to its Best Ideas list of investments, saying that increased margins from iPhone 6 sales see the stock “set for significant upside.”
While Credit Suisse had earlier suggested that margins on the iPhone 6 would be lower than that of the iPhone 5s and 5c, Huberty says that numerous sources are suggesting that more people this time are opting for the middle storage tier, thus pushing up both average selling price and margins … expand full story
After publishing an open letter to Tim Cook earlier today once again requesting Apple to increase its share buyback program, high-profile investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn went on CNBC for an interview to discuss the specifics. Icahn and associates not only discuss the proposal requesting Apple make a tender offer for a larger buyback of shares, but also some of Icahn’s other forecasts and his statement that Apple should be trading at $203 per share, which would put the company at a value somewhere in the neighbourhood of $1 trillion making it the first to do so.
In his letter, Icahn said “our forecasted growth for FY 2016 and FY 2017 more than adequately justifies using a P/E multiple of 19x our FY 2015 forecast, which along with net cash values Apple at $203 per share today.” In addition, Icahn offers some bold predictions in forecasts for yet to be announced product lines including claiming a 4K Apple TV set should arrive for around $1500 in 55-inch and 65-inch variants by 2016. Also factored into his forecast is Apple’s upcoming Apple Watch smartwatch, which he expects to sell “20 million units in FY 2015, 45 million units in FY 2016, 72.5 million units in 2017.”
Apple quickly issued a response to Icahn’s letter today saying it would review its stock repurchase program annually and “take into account the input from all of our shareholders.”
As we highlighted in our previous letter, we believe UltraHD’s (ultra-high-definition television) superior picture quality in comparison to regular HD will drive a major TV replacement cycle as the price gap between them narrows. It should also be noted that Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has referenced UltraHD as a major catalyst for Netflix going forward, and while this is true for Netflix, we believe it is also true for Apple. Against the backdrop of this replacement cycle, FY 2016 represents an opportune time to introduce an UltraHD TV set.
High-profile investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn has published an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook urging him to once again increase its share repurchase program for stock holders. Citing strong iPhone 6 sales and predicting the larger devices will help Apple gain marketshare from Android, Icahn is requesting Cook and Apple’s board make a tender offer to increase its current rate of share repurchases. Icahn said he thinks Apple remains “dramatically undervalued in today’s market,” but didn’t suggest a specific number for the increased buybacks:expand full story
As part of Apple’s earnings releases, Apple has announced an extension to its buyback plans. The company will now buyback an additional $30 billion of Apple stock, totalling $90 billion, significantly accelerating its original plans.
Apple® today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized another significant increase to the Company’s program to return capital to shareholders. The Company expects to utilize a total of over $130 billion of cash under the expanded program by the end of calendar 2015.
The board has also announced a seven-for-one stock split beginning June 2nd 2014. Apple last split its stock in 2005, nine years ago. Apple will also increase the dividend by about 8 percent to $3.29 per common share. This will begin on May 15th. Apple plans to increase its dividend every year. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cook said that the buyback will “show you how much confidence we have in the future of the company”.
Prominent institutional advisors Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and smaller firm Egan-Jones have both advised shareholders to vote against billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s resolution calling for Apple to buy back an additional $50B of its own stock, reports Reuters.
“(The Apple board) has returned the bulk of its U.S.-generated cash to shareholders via aggressive stock buybacks and dividends payouts,” the ISS report said. “In light of these good-faith efforts and its past stewardship, the board’s latitude should not be constricted by a shareholder resolution that would micromanage the company’s capital allocation process.”
Carl Icahn has been buying large blocks of AAPL stock, with his current holding now totalling around $4.1B, giving him roughly a 1 percent stake in the company. He repeatedly called for increased stock buy-backs by Apple before submitting a formal proposal for a minimum $50B. Stockholders will vote on the proposal on 28th February.
Apple has argued that having large cash reserves gives it flexibility, noting in particular that it may at some stage wish to make a very large acquisition.
“You want to be able to adjust for the long-term interest of the shareholders, not for the short-term shareholder, not for the day trader,” Mr. Cook said. “We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire or something may happen in the stock market that’s unpredictable.”
ISS did, however, still describe the size of Apple’s cash reserves – which now stand at almost $160 billion – as an “excess,” and said that an urgent resolution was needed.
Apple recently repurchased $14B of its own stock, bringing it to a record $40B over the past year. Tim Cook has stated that it would discuss further buybacks in March/April.
As Apple opened down nearly 8% following yesterday’s earnings report from the previous quarter, activist investor Carl Icahn announced this morning his third $500 million purchase of Apple stock since the start of the month. Icahn has notably made a lot of noise being vocal toward Apple’s Board of Directors urging a larger buyback program for shareholders, something Apple’s Board has taken a position against, and today’s investment pegs Icahn’s ownership somewhere around $4.1 billion. Icahn’s recent purchases come ahead of Apple’s scheduled shareholder meeting on February 28, 2014. expand full story
Just yesterday, activist investor Carl Icahn revealed that he has invested another $500 million into AAPL stock. Just around 24 hours later, Icahn has posted on Twitter that he invested another $500 million. That brings his total investment into Apple stock to $3.6 billion. This means that he is closing in at 1% ownership of Apple’s stock…
Following a precatory proposal from billionaire investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn urging Apple to vote on a larger buyback, Icahn today announced on Twitter that he thinks Apple “is doing great disservice to shareholders by not having markedly increased its buyback.” He also said that he would soon send Apple another in-depth letter regarding his proposals and confirmed that he has purchased another $500 million in Apple shares bringing his total investment to $3 billion. expand full story
ComputerWorld noted that Apple’s SEC filing on Friday revealed that Tim Cook lost out on $4M worth of stock as a result of his request to the board in August to revise his compensation arrangements to a deal he felt was fairer to shareholders.
Earlier this year Apple’s board revised Cook’s vesting schedule at his urging. Rather than the two monster stock handouts — which only relied on his continued employment — Cook asked that they be spread out over a 10-year period and tied to the company’s stock performance … expand full story
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn doubtless played a role, yesterday tweeting that he would be calling for a (non-binding) shareholder vote on an increased buyback program – though for a smaller amount than he had originally urged.
But Fortune yesterday posted a rather interesting chart that may suggest the upward trend will continue … expand full story
We mentioned a couple of days ago that AAPL stock was approaching a high for the year, and it has now broken the $549.02 at which it began the year.
The company has experienced a roller-coaster ride in its stock price, almost entirely divorced from any product-based reality. The value placed on the company by the market at any given time has more to do with the gap between rumors and product launches, and of course short-term speculation … expand full story
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn tweeted back in August that he had taken “a large position” in Apple, but we didn’t know at the time what the number was, beyond speculation that it was more than $1B.
A regulatory filing now reveals that he purchased 3.88M shares, which at the time would have been worth $1.85B, reports Business Insider. With the increase in AAPL’s stock price, and additional purchases Icahn made since, it’s estimated that he now holds around $2.5B worth of Apple shares.
The S&P 500 trades at roughly 14x forward earnings. After backing off net cash, Apple trades at just 9x (not factoring into account that the company has a significantly lower cash tax rate than the rate Wall Street analysts use). This discount (cash adjusted) becomes even more compelling given our confidence that Apple will grow earnings per share at a rate well in excess of the S&P 500 for the foreseeable future. With such an enormous valuation gap and such a massive amount of cash on the balance sheet, we find it difficult to imagine why the board would not move more aggressively to buy back stock by immediately announcing a $150 Billion tender offer (financed with debt or a mix of debt and cash on the balance sheet).
While this would certainly be unprecedented because of its size, it is actually appropriate and manageable relative to the size and financial strength of your company. Apple generates more than enough cash flow to service this amount of debt and has $147 billion of cash in the bank. As we proposed at our dinner, if the company decided to borrow the full $150 billion at a 3% interest rate to commence a tender at $525 per share, the result would be an immediate 33% boost to earnings per share, translating into a 33% increase in the value of the shares, which significantly assumes no multiple expansion.
In the letter Icahn adds that if the proposed $150 billion buyback was executed immediately, Apple would experience “further stock appreciation of 140% for the shareholders who choose not to sell into the proposed tender offer.” Icahn also agrees to not participate in the buyback by withholding his shares to “ invalidate any possible criticism” regarding the long term benefits of the proposal.
Icahn also noted that he has increased the size of his position in AAPL from 3,875,063 shares to 4,730,739 shares, a value of around $2.5 billion, and that he intends to buy more.
While there isn’t a ton of new information regarding Icahn’s new website, it is already accepting sign ups and a description on the website explains it as “a platform from which we can unite and fight for our rights as shareholders and steer towards the goal of real corporate democracy.”
Icahn says that Cook will call him after the October 28th earnings announcement.
Tim Cook will call Icahn after earnings on Oct. 28…Icahn says. $AAPL
Fortune ran a couple of pieces showing what happened to Apple’s stock price after investor Carl Icahn’s tweets, with his initial announcement that he had taken a “large position” in AAPL, followed by news that he’d had a “nice conversation” with Apple CEO Tim Cook – and a subsequent tweet yesterday that he’d “pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback” over a “cordial dinner.”
The total effect? A jump in Apple’s valuation totalling around $23B – or approaching a cool $8B per tweet.
Would be nice to know when he’s about to tweet, eh?
After taking an undisclosed “large position” in Apple last month, rumored to be in excess of $1B, prominent investor Carl Icahn said he thinks Apple and CEO Tim Cook should do a larger buyback. Now, following a scheduled meeting with Tim Cook in New York yesterday, Icahn says he “pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback” during a “cordial dinner”:
Had a cordial dinner with Tim last night. We pushed hard for a 150 billion buyback. We decided to continue dialogue in about three weeks.
While Apple announced earlier this year that it would return around $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015 as part of its $60 billion buyback program and increased dividend, Icahn previously told Reuters he thinks Apple is capable of doing a $150 billion buyback by borrowing the money at 3 percent:
“If Apple does this now and earnings increase at only 10 percent, the stock – even keeping the same multiple currently – should trade at $700 a share,” Icahn said in a phone interview. Apple has “huge borrowing power, little relative debt and trades at a low multiple.”
As noted in his tweet above, Icahn says he will resume talks with Cook regarding the buyback in three weeks.