Apple's Stock Gets a Boost After Carl Icahn Calls For Accelerated Buybacks

MarketWatch Pulse

Apple Inc.'s stock climbed 0.8% in morning trade, after billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said he believes the technology giant is now worth $240 a share, which is nearly double Friday's closing price of $128.77. In a letter he wrote to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, Icahn gets to this valuation when considering the company will be entering, and will eventually dominate, a new TV market next year and the automobile market by 2020, which have a combined addressable market of $2.2 trillion. Although Icahn said he was pleased with the $80 billion in shares Apple has repurchased, he believes Apple should accelerate share buybacks "in greater magnitude." As of March 31, Icahn's hedge fund Icahn Associates was Apple's seventh-largest shareholder with a 52.8-million-share stake. The stock, which was trading around unchanged levels just before Icahn made his letter to Cook public, has run up 18% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 2.5%.

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