Apple Inc and billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn are expected to battle it out in the company's annual shareholders meeting. Mr Icahn is expected to submit his $50 billion buyback proposal in the February 2014 meeting.
Apple Inc's shareholders will be voting on whether or not to accept Mr Icahn's stock proposal to increase the company's buyback program to $50 billion. According to a statement, Apple is urging shareholders to reject the stock proposal.
In the event that Apple's shareholders will decide to accept Mr Icahn's plan, Apple will not be obligated to follow the decision since the stock proposal is a "non-binding advisory resolution." The wealthy investor Mr Icahn has been pressuring Apple to increase the amount of its buyback program.
The rest of the details of Mr Icahn's proposal will be revealed in the shareholders meeting on Feb. 28. Apple Inc has released a proxy statement indicating the compensation details for company executives and board members, and the issues to be discussed and voted on in the upcoming meeting.
The board statement on the issue is in contrast with Mr Icahn's proposal and assures Apple investors that the company is "fully committed" to return cash without increasing the stock buyback program.
Apple Inc has spent $23 billion in repurchasing stocks in the 2013 fiscal year but has not yet revealed how much it will shell out in the next fiscal year. The proxy statement also reiterated that Apple has announced a quarterly dividend and stock buyback programme worth US$45 billion in March 2012. In April 2013, the board had approved the additional share buyback totaling US$60 billion.
On Dec. 4, Mr Icahn posted on Twitter that he has informedApple Inc of his intention to push for a vote for the company to increase its stock buyback program. In the tweet, he said he will be making a precatory proposal which is legally binding.
Mr Icahn had been urging Apple Inc to announce a $150 billion buyback program. The billionaire activist owns an estimated 0.5 per cent of outstanding shares based on data from Thomson Reuters.
2013 prosperous for Tim Cook
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook earned US$4.25 million worth of salary and bonuses for the year, according to a document filed in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr Cook's earnings is 1.9 per cent higher than what he made in 2012 despite the slow growth of Apple shares.
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