Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has decided to drop his $50 billion stock buyback proposal to Apple Inc after respected proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) criticised his attempts of micromanagement. Apple Inc's CEO has announced in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the company has recently repurchased $14 billion of its stocks.
In a letter to Apple Inc investors dated Feb 10, Mr Icahn wrote he was backing off from his non-binding proposal that would be forcing the iPhone maker to add another $50 billion to its stock buyback plan. He acknowledged that Apple is now closer to his requested stock repurchase target following Mr Cook's announcement of the $14 billion buyback.
The billionaire activist told CNBC in January that he continued to benefit and made a "great deal of money" when he buys Apple shares that went down. Mr Icahn firmly believes it is "more compelling" for Apple Inc to allow a stock buyback. He reveals he is "encouraged" when Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the company's plans for new products.
Other investors may have been disappointed with the latest Apple earnings report but at least one person is happy to buy more of the company's stocks, bringing his total stake at $4.1 billion.
Apple Inc shares fell 7.2 per cent in trading on Jan 28 after investors were disappointed with iPhone sales for Q1 FY 2014 despite record-breaking figures for the tech giant. The stock price slightly dipped followingCarl Icahn's tweet about buying another $500 million Apple shares.
Apple Inc and Carl Icahn were expected to battle it out in the company's annual shareholders meeting on Feb. 28. Since Mr Icahn has dropped his proposal, shareholders will no longer need to vote on additional stock buybacks.
Apple shares closed 1.8 per cent higher on Feb 10 at $528.99, according to Reuters.
Apple iTunes Radio now available in Australia
Meanwhile, Apple Inc has launched iTunes Radio in Australia following the success of the service in the United States. Australia is the first country with iTunes Radio service outside of the U.S.
iTunes Radio is designed to compete with rival services like Pandora and Last.fm and allowed users to listen to favourite songs. Playlists are curated by Apple staff although listeners can choose which songs to play. iTunes Radio is free in Australia thanks to advertising but users can pay a annual fee to remove ads. iTunes Match will cost $34.99 in Australia.