Carl Icahn has spoken again with Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook
and plans a longer discussion with the chief executive next month about the size
of the iPhone maker's buyback program, the activist investor tweeted on Thursday
Last week, Mr. Icahn tweeted that he had discussed with Mr. Cook his view that the world's largest technology corporation should expand the size of its existing share buyback program.
"Spoke to Tim. Planning dinner in September. Tim believes in buyback and is doing one. What will be discussed is magnitude," Mr. Icahn said Thursday via his Twitter feed. He did not elaborate.
An Apple spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Mr. Icahn, the hedge fund billionaire known for launching aggressive assaults on American boardrooms, caused a sensation on Wall Street last week when he revealed on Twitter he had taken a large position in Apple and was pushing for the company to expand its program of share buybacks, already one of the market's largest. That revelation pushed the share price of the $400 billion corporation up 5 percent.
In April, Apple bowed to Wall Street pressure and said it would return $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015 - double the amount set aside previously. It got there in part by raising its dividend 15 percent and boosting its share buyback program six-fold to $60 billion, one of the largest of its kind.
As part of that program, it bought about more than $16 billion worth of stock in the June quarter, much more than analysts had expected.
Mr. Icahn told Reuters at the time that the iPhone, iPad and Mac computer maker has the ability to do a $150 billion buyback now by borrowing funds at 3 percent. And he argued that by increasing its program, Apple's stock could regain the $700 level it touched in September.
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OCTOBER 30, 2014
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