Is an accelerated Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) share buyback program in the works? According to a recent tweet from CNBC, billionaire investor Carl Icahn will be meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook in New York on Monday. Last month, Icahn tweeted: “Spoke to Tim. Planning dinner in September. Tim believes in buyback and is doing one. What will be discussed is magnitude.”
If CNBC’s sources are correct, it appears that Icahn’s dinner with Cook will take place on Monday. The activist investor recently added to his already significant position in the company when Apple’s stock price dipped immediately after its iPhone media event on September 10.
However, Apple’s stock price has risen more than 2 percent since the company announced its higher-than-expected opening weekend sales numbers. According to The Wall Street Journal, Icahn has a stake valued at more than $1.5 billion in Apple. In April, Apple announced $60 billion in share repurchase authorization, its largest-ever single share repurchase authorization. But Icahn believes that Apple should increase its share buyback program even more.
Last month, Icahn told Reuters that he thinks Apple has the potential to return to the $700 per share level that it reached last September if it funds a $150 billion buyback with funds borrowed 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.
Despite many investors’ fears about the saturation of the high-end smartphone market, Icahn has remained consistently bullish on Apple. “I look at it from the big picture. I just look at what they’re doing. They’re one of the best brands. They are building revenue,” Icahn told CNBC earlier this month.
At the time of writing, Icahn had not responded to CNBC’s report regarding his meeting with Cook. Here’s how Apple has traded over the past week.
Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)