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Photo illustration: John Paczkowski / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

General


Carl Icahn continues to build his position in Apple, raising it to more than $3 billion, the gadfly investor said Wednesday.

In a series of tweets, Icahn said he’s been amassing Apple shares since first announcing his position in the company back in August. He claims to have purchased more than $500 million in the last two weeks alone, pushing his stake — which was worth nearly $1.9 billion as of Sept. 30, 2013 — beyond the $3 billion mark (Note: that’s still less than 1 percent of Apple’s shares). Growing in concert along with Icahn’s Apple stake is the billionaire’s sense of indignation over Apple’s refusal to accede to his demands to increase the size of its stock buyback program.

Apple’s board of directors “is doing great disservice to shareholders by not having markedly increased its buyback,” Icahn tweeted.

Apple declined comment on Icahn’s tweets, referring Re/code to its latest proxy statement in which it recommends voting against Icahn’s advisory proposal asking it to increase the size of its stock buyback program in 2014 to $50 billion. Apple’s position: It already increased the size of its dividend and stock buyback program to $100 billion in 2013, and is thoughtfully considering options for returning additional cash to shareholders.

“In March 2012, the company announced a quarterly dividend and share repurchase program totaling $45 billion,” Apple said in its proxy. “In April 2013, the board authorized a dramatic increase, more than doubling the size of the program to $100 billion, raising the dividend, and increasing the share buyback authorization to $60 billion. As such, the company is one of the largest dividend payers in the world and has the largest share repurchase authorization in history. The company has executed aggressively against the capital return program, spending $23 billion of the $60-billion share repurchase authorization in fiscal 2013 alone.”

At $555.10, Apple shares are up a little over 1 percent today.




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