Apple's $603,580,000,000 market cap – the largest ever in history – isn't big enough for Carl Icahn.
The activist investor said Thursday that Apple is UNDERVALUED, and CEO Tim Cook should do more to massively increase the stock price.
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Icahn, who owns 53 million shares in Apple, thinks the $101 stock price is too low, and he has a list of measures he thinks the company should take in order to pad his fortune a bit more. Icahn's AAPL stock holding at the moment is worth $5.3bn.
"Given the earnings growth we forecast for Apple, we continue to think that the market misunderstands and dramatically undervalues Apple and the excess liquidity the company continues to hold on its balance sheet affords the company an amazing opportunity to take further advantage of this valuation disconnect by accelerating share repurchases," Icahn wrote in an open letter to dead Steve Jobs' replacement.
Icahn's recommendation for the Zune killer is to purchase back some of its shares in hope that the move will drive up the value for Apple shareholders. Icahn said that with a mountain of cash on its hands, the board of directors should accelerate its tender offer and speed up the repurchase.
Least you think Icahn is just trying to pad his fortune by imploring Apple to make an offer and then cashing out his shares, Icahn promised not to take part in any tender offer.
"We commit to this because we believe Apple remains dramatically undervalued," Icahn writes.
"And we think you and the Board agree."
While Icahn Enterprises does not figure among Apple's largest shareholders (he holds less than 1 per cent) his reputation carries a considerable amount of weight. As an activist investor, he has lead shareholder revolts including eBay's spinoff of PayPal, a push to keep Dell public, and the ousting of Yahoo! boss Jerry Yang.
This is not the first time he's prodded Apple to buy back shares. ®