First there was iCarly. Now there’s iCarl. Carl Icahn, that is.
Since legendary investor Carl Icahn took the time out from his battles over Herbalife and Dell to start tweeting about taking a stake in Apple and his discussion with CEO Tim Cook about a buyback, Apple’s stock has pushed back through the financially meaningless yet metaphorically significant $500 barrier.
Over the past year, markets have cooled on Apple, seemingly tired of its consistent and lucrative success. Investors fretted that CEO Tim Cook may not have the same magic as Steve Jobs. Journalists and pundits piled on, declaring the age of Apple to be over, calling it a damaged brand, and recently claiming that board members are concerned about the pace of innovation. Just this week, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Apple was adrift without Steve Jobs. Meanwhile, Apple’s stock fell from the 700s to the low 400s.
In the last few months, Apple’s stock has recovered a bit of its mojo as the company posted solid earnings. Now however, Carl Icahn has weighed in—and apparently septuagenarians can stimulate the appeal of a tech company. Icahn announced he had taken a stake in the company, believes it is undervalued, and plans to start badgering management to return cash to investors through dividends or a buyback. Investors, eager to ride Icahn’s coattails, have piled into the stock and helped push it to $500 again.