Apple is asking shareholders to vote against a proposal put together by Carl Icahn that would increase the amount of money the company spends on buying back stock. Carl Icahn asked Apple to commit at least $50 billion of share repurchases next year. Since the proposal is a “non-binding advisory resolution,” Apple does not have to follow-through it even if shareholders approve of it.
Carl Icahn’s proposal (No. 10) is one out of 11 proposals. Apple shareholders are going to vote on a proposal at the annual shareholder meeting on February 28th. The board issued a statement that opposes Icahn’s proposal and is reassuring investors that Apple is committed to returning cash to shareholders.
Here is the statement:
The Board and management team are thoughtfully considering options for returning additional cash to shareholders and are currently seeking input from shareholders as part of the Company’s regular review.
The Company’s success stems from the Company’s unique ability to combine world-class skills in hardware, software and services to deliver innovative products that create new markets and delight hundreds of millions of customers. This success has created tremendous value for the Company’s shareholders.
With breakthrough products and services such as the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and App Store, the Company has created huge market opportunities, and the Board and management team believe the opportunities that lie ahead are just as exciting. Given such large and global markets, the Company competes with large companies around the world, many with their own significant technical capabilities and significant capital. This dynamic competitive landscape and the Company’s rapid pace of innovation require unprecedented investment, flexibility and access to resources.
Successfully innovating and executing against these large opportunities also requires careful stewardship by the Board and management team, and the Company’s evaluation of capital return is conducted in the context of supporting the Company’s continued business success and desire to deliver attractive returns to long-term shareholders.